Joshua Kimmich described Germany's humiliating World Cup exit as the worst moment of his career as Japan and Spain progressed following a dramatic Group E finale on Thursday.

Germany began their final fixture against Costa Rica knowing a win would likely take them into the last 16 if Japan failed to beat Spain, and Hansi Flick's men held up their end of the bargain with a 4-2 victory.

However, Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka scored as Japan staged a remarkable comeback to beat La Roja, ensuring they emerged as surprise group winners and ending Germany's bid for a fifth World Cup triumph.

Germany have now failed to progress beyond the group stage at consecutive World Cups after doing so on each of their previous 16 appearances at the tournament, leaving Kimmich devastated.

"For me personally, this is the worst day of my career. I'm afraid I'll fall into a hole," Kimmich told reporters. "It makes you think these failures are connected to my person.

"This is definitely the most difficult day of my career for me. The second time being eliminated at a World Cup, in between we had the Euros, where we were eliminated early. 

"That is bitter and there have been many missed opportunities within the last four years."

Germany reached the semi-finals of Kimmich's first major tournament at Euro 2016, but they have since fallen at the first hurdle at two World Cups and suffered a last-16 defeat to England at Euro 2020.

Costa Rica briefly took a surprise lead when Manuel Neuer put through his own net with 20 minutes remaining on Thursday, and Germany have now gone 12 major tournament games without a clean sheet (World Cup/Euros) – their longest ever streak.

Kimmich's fellow midfielder Ilkay Gundogan hit out at Die Nationalmannschaft's defending as he called on his team-mates to reflect on their shortcomings.

"We concede goals too easily, we lose balls too easily and up front we miss goalscoring chances too easily," Gundogan said.

"Of course, as Germany, we have to have different aspirations, so we have to take a good look at ourselves. 

"We just didn't manage to do our best as a group, or maybe individually. We have to question what the reasons were and everyone has to look in the mirror and tell themselves that it wasn't enough."

Joshua Kimmich's "childhood dream" has been somewhat ruined by Qatar hosting the World Cup, with "no real joy" for Germany in the build-up to the tournament.

Bayern Munich's Kimmich made three appearances at right-back as Germany crashed to a group-stage exit at Russia 2018, with Qatar 2022 proving his first real opportunity since making a name as a midfielder.

But the 27-year-old has been left wanting with the ongoing concerns surrounding the human rights record in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are prohibited and homosexuality is illegal.

Kimmich remains underwhelmed due to the ongoing off-field distractions, though he assured Germany are firing on all fronts ahead of Wednesday's Group E opener against Japan.

"I would like to be able to look forward to a World Cup, even if it takes place here," Kimmich said on Tuesday.

"It's a huge dream for all of us, we're all on fire. We all want to play a good tournament, we all want to win tomorrow and yes, it's not our fault where the World Cup takes place."

Germany have made their dissatisfaction with the hosts known as Die Mannschaft supporters have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the tournament in the Middle East.

"I don't feel like there's any real joy there," added Kimmich on the lack of interest in the tournament back home.

Kimmich, like many other big-name footballing stars, promised to speak out where he sees fit, though he suggested the backlash to FIFA's 2010 decision on Qatar has come too late.

He continued: "We've talked a lot about the fact the World Cup was awarded here.

"That was 12 years ago, when I was 15, and now I somehow always have to comment on it. I don't know if it's always justified.

"But we also have to manage this balancing act of focusing on the sporting side. I mean regardless of where the World Cup is taking place, it's a World Cup, it's the biggest competition for us footballers there is.

"It's a huge childhood dream to play tomorrow, and yet somehow I have the feeling that it's always being talked down a bit or that you can't really look forward to it."

Japan will mark coach Flick's first game at FIFA's top tournament, too, and the German acknowledged a tough task awaits at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

"I have to out myself as a bit of a fan of Japanese football. They are really doing it well," Flick said. 

"We see the quality they have in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt's [Daichi] Kamada playing a great season or [Wataru] Endo, who is one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga.

"It is a very big task but we go into the match prepared and look forward to it."

Germany coach Hansi Flick refused to hide his frustration at FIFA's decision to ban teams from wearing the OneLove armband at the World Cup.

The OneLove campaign, which promotes "inclusion and sends a message against discrimination of any kind", grew in significance ahead of the tournament in Qatar, partly due to the host country's criminalisation of homosexuality and poor human rights record.

Germany were one of seven European nations to back the initiative, which involved captains wearing special armbands featuring a multi-coloured heart.

The move was shelved on Monday after it emerged FIFA was set to impose "sporting sanctions" on the teams involved, with the expectation being that captains would be booked at kick-off for wearing the armband.

While FIFA has been criticised for seemingly opposing an anti-discrimination gesture, teams have also been slammed for lacking the bravery to proceed regardless of sanction threats.

Although Flick did not address the criticism of the teams, he did express regret regarding FIFA's decision.

"About the armband, together with the DFB [German Football Association] and the other countries, we wanted to do this to take a stand, and then what happened is FIFA threatened us with sanctions and the associations were told [on Monday] at short notice," Flick told reporters ahead of Wednesday's Group E opener against Japan.

"If you want to run a campaign as a group, you should stick to decisions.

"Of course, it's a shock for the team to not do it, it was a sign of human rights and diversity. And the way I treat my team, the values I and the team represent, well all of that is based on mutual respect, mutual appreciation, that's just part of life. I expect that from everyone.

"There are some parties involved who think differently. We wanted to embody our values."

Regarding the threat of a potential instant yellow card, Flick said: "We talked about it, a yellow card can happen. If [Joshua] Kimmich then has to leave pitch, we have options. However, it was unclear and the mere threat of sanctions was difficult for us, especially because it was so short notice before the England and Netherlands games, that's when the decision was communicated.

"We didn't have time to react, the federations decided to take responsibility off the players' shoulders and that's why the situation is what it is now.

"I'm sorry we can't be here and take a stand for human rights, apparently."

Midfielder Kimmich largely echoed the sentiment of his coach, expressing shock at Monday's announcement.

He also questioned how much players should be expected to use their platforms to fight for social causes, pointing out that ultimately they are in Qatar to play football.

"Eventually there was a decision of the DFB, a decision supported by everyone: England and all the other teams," Kimmich said.

"Generally speaking, I was quite surprised because a few weeks ago when we discussed the armband, I felt people were criticising it. A lot of people thought it was pointless, a fig leaf, but I think it was a strong stance to take.

"We as players, and the DFB, have addressed the issues and problems. We had a campaign on human rights, and in Nepal we'll work on donations for supporting people. I think we're good at pointing out things around the world that are not going well, but now we concentrate on the football.

"On Qatar being awarded the World Cup, it was 12 years ago, I was 15, now I have to keep making statements.

"We are all very aware. Time and time again we have had the opportunity to point out mistakes and issues in the world, but we have to be honest as well, here we don't learn enough about what's going on in the world because we are busy training, playing games. You [the media] have the opportunity to go out and see.

"I think it's important us as players to take advantage of our platforms to point out wrongs, but we also have to focus on the game regardless of where the World Cup is hosted.

"It's the greatest competition out there for footballers. It's every boy's dream to participate in it. I think a lot of people tried to convince us we shouldn't be looking forward to it, many at home aren't excited, but I should be able to look forward even if it's here."

Bayern Munich finished their Champions League group-stage campaign with a 100 per cent record as Benjamin Pavard and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored in a 2-0 win over Inter on Tuesday.

With Bayern and Inter already guaranteed to finish first and second in Group C respectively, the hosts were the more coherent of two much-changed sides at the Allianz Arena.

Following a decent start from Inter, Pavard met Joshua Kimmich's delivery to put the hosts ahead, before Choupo-Moting added some gloss with a brilliant long-range strike after the break.

As a result, Julian Nagelsmann's men have won all six Champions League group games in consecutive seasons, finishing eight points clear of Inter to demonstrate their credentials as one of the top contenders for the European title.

Inter were controversially denied a ninth-minute penalty when Sadio Mane appeared to block Nicolo Barella's shot with both arms, then should have taken the lead when Lautaro Martinez stretched to fire over from just three yards out.

Bayern punished Inter for that miss after 32 minutes, as Pavard escaped Martinez's attentions to nod Kimmich's corner into the bottom-right corner.

Andre Onana turned Kingsley Coman's effort wide as half-time approached, before the offside flag denied the Nerazzurri when Francesco Acerbi headed a left-wing free-kick home after the restart.

Bayern exerted greater control in the second half, but saw Mane hook over from a decent position as they searched for a second goal.

The hosts had their two-goal fashion in spectacular fashion with 18 minutes remaining, as Choupo-Moting was given space to turn before crashing a right-footed strike into the top-left corner, dashing any hopes of an Inter comeback.

What does it mean? Bayern make history

Bayern's status among the favourites to win the Champions League was not exactly in doubt ahead of this campaign, but winning all six matches in a group containing Barcelona and Inter will only have strengthened other teams' hopes of avoiding them in the round of 16.

On Tuesday, Nagelsmann's men became the first side in Champions League history to win all six group games in back-to-back seasons, as well as the first club to do so on three occasions (also 2019-20, when they won the competition).  

Lethal hosts set goalscoring record

Bayern scored 18 goals across their six Group C outings, and despite Robert Lewandowski's decision to move to Barcelona in July, they retain the attacking quality to trouble any side in Europe.

Pavard's opener ensured Bayern have scored in their last 22 home matches in the Champions League, setting a new club record in the competition. 

Choupo-Moting comes up with the goods

When Lewandowski swapped Bavaria for Camp Nou, few would have expected Choupo-Moting to be among the players to fill the goalscoring breach for Bayern.

However, the 33-year-old has proved himself to be a capable deputy this season, and has now scored on each of his last five Champions League starts.

What's next?

Bayern go to Hertha Berlin for their next Bundesliga game on Saturday, while Inter visit their Derby d'Italia rivals Juventus in Serie A on Sunday.

Joshua Kimmich insists Bayern Munich will want to "send a message" in their final Champions League group game against Inter, despite it being a dead rubber.

Bayern secured top spot in Group C last week with a 3-0 win at Barcelona, while Inter confirmed second place prior to that with a 4-0 victory at home to Viktoria Plzen.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of the clash at the Allianz Arena, Kimmich emphasised the importance for the Bundesliga side to maintain their recent high standards, even with nothing riding on the outcome of the game.

"The coach has addressed it already," he said. "We need to send a message to ourselves and our opponents. We want to play freely and have fun out on the pitch, like we have [been doing] lately. We want to win the game in order to send a message."

Bayern are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions (W8 D1) but despite being on course to win all six of their games in a tough Champions League group, Kimmich believes they cannot be considered favourites to go all the way until the competition resumes next year.

"In February, March and April, it will be decided who the favourites are," he said. "We are proud that we won our group, a very difficult group. It's remarkable that we topped it before the final matchday."

Head coach Julian Nagelsmann admitted he will look to partially rotate his team against Inter, with this one of four games they still have to play before breaking for the World Cup in less than two weeks.

"We will rotate," he said. "How many changes we make depends on how things go today and tomorrow. We won't take any risks, after all, the last few weeks have been very intense."

The former RB Leipzig boss added the game will come too soon for the likes of Leroy Sane, Lucas Hernandez, Thomas Muller, Matthijs de Ligt and Manuel Neuer, though did add the goalkeeper - who has not played since the 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund on October 8 - could be back for the weekend, putting to rest concerns Neuer might not make the World Cup.

"We're hoping Manu will return this weekend," he said. "He had no issues during and after training today. We will need to wait and see."

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann felt his side "should have scored more" despite their rampant 5-2 away victory over Augsburg in the second round of the DFB-Pokal.

Bayern were behind within nine minutes after Mads Pedersen fired the hosts in front, but a double from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and a smart Joshua Kimmich finish put the Bundesliga champions 3-1 ahead.

Dayot Upamecano's unfortunate own goal gave Augsburg hopes of a comeback, but Jamal Musiala and Alphonso Davies both struck late to ensure Bayern's progression into the third round of a competition they have won 20 times, 14 more than any other side.

Despite scoring five against Augsburg, Nagelsmann wanted his side to be even more ruthless, telling ZDF: "It's a classic cup game.

"The team created enough chances to make the game clearer earlier on, but unfortunately we missed. 

"There were many situations in which we should have scored more goals."

Nagelsmann was thankful for his side's improvement after finding themselves a goal down early on, particularly their dominant period after half-time which saw Kimmich and Choupo-Moting make it 3-1 with 53rd and 59th-minute goals.

"We didn't have a good start, we were very sluggish and didn't accept many duels," Nagelsmann said.

"The 20 minutes after half-time were very, very good. Physically we were on the same level."

When asked why Bayern struggled at the start of the match, Nagelsmann replied: "It's not that easy to play against a team that plays every ball straight ahead.

"It's always a balancing act. Do you play football, or do you play the ball in the opposing half?

"We didn't always make the right decision."

An Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting double and goals from Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala and Alphonso Davies helped Bayern Munich to a 5-2 comeback victory over Augsburg to seal their place in the DFB-Pokal third round.

Mads Pedersen put Augsburg in front, but Choupo-Moting scored either side of Kimmich's beautiful finish to put the Bundesliga champions 3-1 up.

An own goal from Dayot Upamecano caused some fears of a Bayern collapse, but Musiala and Davies struck late to make sure of the victory.

Bayern's return to form continues as they reach the next round of a competition they have won on 20 occasions, 14 more than any other team.

The hosts started brightly and took the lead after nine minutes, Pedersen rifling superbly into the bottom right corner from 25 yards out.

Davies missed a great chance to equalise when he fired straight at Tomas Koubek, before the Augsburg goalkeeper also denied efforts from Musiala and Serge Gnabry.

However, Koubek did not cover himself in glory for Bayern's leveller, as Choupo Moting's drive from a tight angle sneaked in at the near post to make it 1-1.

Koubek somewhat redeemed himself shortly after, making a brilliant save to paw away Sadio Mane's goal-bound shot as the visitors put increasing pressure on the Augsburg defence.

Gnabry hit the bar with a deflected effort just after half-time, before Kimmich's curler from the edge of the box flew in to give Bayern the lead.

Choupo-Moting then took advantage of a defensive mix-up to smash home Bayern's third, seemingly putting the match to bed.

And despite Augsburg pulling a goal back when Upamecano diverted into his own net, Davies produced some sublime skill to tee up Musiala to bend home before the Canadian turned goalscorer as Bayern made sure of their progress.

Thomas Muller will not feature when Bayern Munich meet Borussia Dortmund on Saturday after continuing to suffer from COVID-19 symptoms, Julian Nagelsmann has revealed.

Joshua Kimmich, however, is in contention to return after recovering from the virus, as Bayern bid for a ninth consecutive win over their rivals.

Muller and Kimmich missed Tuesday's 5-0 Champions League win over Viktoria Plzen after testing positive for the virus last week, but both players have now returned negative tests.

However, Nagelsmann revealed on Friday that Muller was still experiencing symptoms and would miss the trip to BVB, although he was more positive regarding Kimmich's chances.

"Though they have both tested negative, Thomas Muller still has some cold symptoms, so he won't be in the squad," Nagelsmann said.

"Joshua Kimmich, everything looks good. He has no symptoms, he was asymptomatic the whole time. 

"He'll travel with the squad and then we'll see how far off he is after five days on the sidelines, whether he can feature in the starting lineup.

"It's a special game and that might mean there are special circumstances, but we'll see how training goes and how he feels.

"At the end of the day, both are now free from the constraints, which is good news."

With surprise packages Union Berlin and Freiburg setting the pace at the Bundesliga summit, Saturday's game will represent the first time in 13 years that neither Bayern or Dortmund has topped the league table ahead of a head-to-head meeting.

Though Dortmund's eight-match losing streak against Bayern is their joint- longest against any opponent in their history, Nagelsmann is wary of the threat posed by Edin Terzic's men. 

"They have made some good signings and have put together a strong team," he added. "Overall, I think they are having a solid season.

"They are a tough opponent and it will definitely be a good game. They're going to be a top opponent and it will be a really good game.

"We want to win more than anything. Dortmund like to defend deep and remain compact while waiting for opportunities to counter. They always have a clear shape when they counter.

"There's not really any sense of extra anticipation or tension, the preparations are the same. We don't want to let the tension come in too early, because if it comes too early, it can be hard to carry through."

Saturday's match will also see two of Europe's most highly rated prospects go head-to-head, as Bayern and Germany creator Jamal Musiala faces in-form England midfielder Jude Bellingham.

Nagelsmann praised both players as he hailed Musiala's development before adding: "Bellingham is having a very good season, he's very active, a different player to Jamal.

"He's more of a box-to-box player. With Jamal, it's all about the danger he can pose in front of goal, the passes he can play, and we're very happy that we have him.

"He has developed really well. He also developed well last season but didn't really hit that top level. Now, we're starting to see him do that.

"They both also have good standings in their national teams as well, so I think we can all enjoy the fact they are in the Bundesliga." 

Julian Nagelsmann may shuffle his pack for Bayern Munich's Champions League game against Viktoria Plzen on Tuesday, with the depleted Bavarians set to host Borussia Dortmund four days later.

Bayern have started their Champions League campaign with back-to-back wins over Inter and Barcelona, and lead the duo by three points at the top of Group C.

Should they record another European win at the Allianz Arena next time out, Bayern will have won their first three Champions League matches for a fourth season in succession.

On the domestic stage, however, Bayern trail surprise pace-setters Union Berlin and Freiburg after an inconsistent run of results, and host rivals Dortmund on Saturday.

With Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich set to miss the Plzen match after contracting COVID-19, Nagelsmann is aware of the need to manage his squad.

"We need to rotate because of Joshua and Thomas, so there are different ways, there are so many options," Nagelsmann said at his pre-match press conference.

"You'll see tomorrow which I decide. We're still in a situation where we need to grab points. 

"It's important for the Champions League to win the game against Plzen, and also to keep the rhythm for the game against Dortmund, where there might be more pressure than in the Champions League.

"Plzen like to play defensively and counter-attack, and that could be a challenge. We'll try to get into our optimum phase considering what is still ahead."

Bayern have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 recently, with Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka withdrawing from the Germany squad after contracting the virus last month.

Nagelsmann offered a positive update on the conditions of Muller and Kimmich, and hopes to have them back after Tuesday's match, adding: "Thomas and Joshua don't have any symptoms, they're doing well. Of course, they would love to play, but nothing has changed.

"We can do the tests on Friday and if those go well, they are candidates against Dortmund. It depends on the tests we will do.

"In general, the incidence is high in Munich so it's a factor that concerns us. We've talked with the players. 

"They've had the suggestion that they're not going to go to the Oktoberfest since the officials took part, so no partying there!

"Outside of the pitch, professional players are normal people. Everybody's looking after themselves."

Nagelsmann also revealed Kingsley Coman will not feature against Plzen despite recovering from a muscle injury, but said Serge Gnabry had his full support if selected to start out wide.

"First of all, with Kingsley, he is doing well," Nagelsmann said. "He practiced well, he was great, but he's not going to be a part of tomorrow's game.

"We'll try to heighten that [his condition] in the next couple of days and then he's an option against Dortmund, but he's not going to start, that's for sure.

"He is doing well. I have good expectations that he can fill a position in the squad against Dortmund, it would be great to have him, and not so great for the opponent.

"I haven't decided 100 per cent, but Serge is certainly a candidate there. We have to see also what we will do against Dortmund, and what happens with Thomas.

"I've known Serge for ages and I think a lot of him. He doesn't worry too much on the field and plays freely. We have a good connection with each other."

Bayern Munich pair Thomas Muller and Joshua Kimmich have gone into isolation after testing positive to COVID-19.

The German champions announced the news on Saturday, with Muller and Kimmich having both been in the starting XI for Friday's 4-0 Bundesliga win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern said the pair had tested positive on Saturday, were asymptomatic, doing well and isolating at their respective homes.

The Bundesliga outfit are due to face Czech club Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League at Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

The positive tests come after Bayern pair Manuel Neuer and Leon Goretzka were withdrawn from Germany camp last week after their own infections.

Kimmich has started every game in all competitions this season for Bayern, netting two goals and providing four assists.

Muller has started all bar one of Bayern's games in all competitions, scoring twice and providing four assists.

Hansi Flick warned his Germany side individual errors will be "deadly" at the World Cup after an entertaining back-and-forth Nations League encounter against England at Wembley.

The visitors led by two goals after Ilkay Gundogan's penalty and Kai Havertz's expert long-range finish punished the Three Lions.

However, three goals in the space of 12 minutes from Luke Shaw, Mason Mount and Harry Kane had already-relegated England in front with seven minutes to play.

An error from goalkeeper Nick Pope allowed Havertz to make it 3-3 late on, but head coach Flick acknowledged Germany must be better at protecting a lead in Qatar.

"The result is very disappointing. I think we were very stable after 2-0 and we made individual mistakes, and you have to say that England brought in two fresh players who then also played a part in making England more effective offensively," Flick said.

"We made individual mistakes and that's why it's disappointing. 

"You have to look at the whole game and I think we did many things well, really well. In a phase where we got the three goals, that shouldn't happen to us, because especially at a World Cup, things like that are of course deadly and you're eliminated faster than you think. 

"Therefore, if you look at it positively, you simply have to say that we know what we can work on. 

"We'll analyse the game properly again because, of course, at first glance, I've seen the goals conceded, just once or twice now, and that's partly individual, where we sometimes made the mistakes. And everyone has to do their job over 90 minutes and we have to work on that."

Flick, though, was effusive in his praise of Bayern Munich star Jamal Musiala, who was a constant thorn in England's side and drew the foul from Harry Maguire for Germany's opener from the spot.

"Jamal just showed why he is an exceptional talent. He got us the second goal from in his own half and he's both defensive and offensive, I think he's a player that's good for us," Flick added.

"And simply by his dribbling ability, he can pull out situations like penalties, but of course also he can move opponents around, one or two players are out of position and then it's a different situation. 

"Then we have more room, more space and those are the things that are good for us."

There were mixed feelings from the German camp after Monday's dramatic 3-3 draw against England in the UEFA Nations League, with manager Hansi Flick calling it "a good test".

Germany led 2-0 after a 52nd minute penalty from Ilkay Gundogan and a goal from Kai Havertz in the 67th, but that advantage was wiped out in just over 15 minutes.

Luke Shaw struck in the 72nd, Mason Mount equalised three minutes later, and a penalty to Harry Kane put the English up 3-2 in the 83rd.

Ultimately, an 87th-minute leveller from Havertz saw the two sides share the points, and it gave Flick some mixed emotions.

"The first half was balanced, in the second we deservedly led 2-0 – then we made individual mistakes," he said. "It must not happen that we give up a lead like that. 

"But we came back, that's the positive. It was a good test, we take a lot of positive things with us, but also negative things. There's some work for us to do, but we're optimistic, otherwise we could stay at home."

Midfielder Joshua Kimmich provided a little more insight into exactly what went wrong to allow such a rapid collapse.

"We had everything under control and deservedly led 2-0 – then we became far too passive," he said. "No longer pushing through consistently, defending far too deep, no longer having the courage to play against the ball… but in terms of body language and engagement, it was an improvement.

"Everyone now has six weeks to get a good feeling and then we will attack."

After scoring two goals, Havertz said to only get a draw from a match like that "must of course worry you" but suggested that it "was another good game to learn from".

Meanwhile, Gundogan was not afraid to talk about Germany's lofty goals, saying they are heading to Qatar with the plan of making the final.

"It's not unrealistic," he said. "Of course, a lot has to come together. I don't see a team that is miles ahead.

"We have shown over long periods that we can do it at the highest level. We have to try to do that for 90 minutes. At a World Cup you have much less leeway to make mistakes than today."

Joshua Kimmich admits he feels "really angry" with Bayern Munich's start to the new season, as he hopes to turn the page on Germany duty this week.

Julian Nagelsmann's Bundesliga champions started the new league campaign with three emphatic victories on the bounce, but have since gone winless in their last four.

With just three points from a possible dozen and defeat to Augsburg shortly before the international break, the Bavarian giants lie fifth, casting serious doubts over Nagelsmann's future.

Speaking ahead of Germany's upcoming games against Hungary and England in the UEFA Nations League, Kimmich says he and his team-mates have found themselves frustrated by their inability to get over the line.

"You get really angry", he stated. "Mainly because I don't think the defeat and the draws are necessary. We had a few chances.

"[But] there is no point having a few chances if you then lose again. You look forward to the next game, that you can do better, even if it is not with the club."

Former Germany international Oliver Bierhoff, who now serves as the national team's director, believes the change of scenery has done Bayern's international contingent good, however.

"I don't see our Bayern Munich players with hanging heads," he added. "I don't think we have to build them up. We still hope that the time with the national team will be a break from everyday life for some.

"To gain confidence and get back in, I don't see the situation there as dramatic. They have different requirements. I didn't get the impression that there was a team that was falling apart."

Joshua Kimmich has mixed feelings about playing a World Cup in Qatar but insisted players cannot be expected to boycott the finals at this late stage.

The Germany and Bayern Munich player says the time for action was 12 years ago, when Qatar was awarded the tournament, rather than now, two months out from the opening game.

Kimmich spoke at a Germany press conference on Tuesday, ahead of Nations League games against Hungary and England, the last get-together of Hansi Flick's squad before the coach chooses his players for the World Cup.

The November and December dates for the tournament are unusual, and all part of the package that has come since Qatar was surprisingly awarded hosting rights in December 2010.

Concern about the country's human rights record has persisted and is sure to continue into the tournament itself.

Kimmich said: "As a player, you're always extremely keen on a World Cup. There's a lot of discussion about it this year, and rightly so."

He stressed issues such as climate, which has forced the tournament to be shunted to late in the year, were known about before Qatar was handed the tournament.

He added: "At the end of the day, players are always asked for a boycott. We're 12 years too late. Something like that has to be taken into account beforehand.

"It's a balancing act. On the one hand, you're looking forward to the huge event; on the other hand, there are these grievances that we address again and again."

Midfielder Kimmich will have little time to step back and look closely at the Qatar situation because the demands on players this season are extreme.

As well as domestic league and European commitments being crammed tightly together ahead of the World Cup, there is also the Nations League, where Germany have won one game and drawn three so far.

"You have in mind that this is preparation for the World Cup," Kimmich said. "But after that we have a block of club football where we need to get our points. Of course, it's all preparation for the World Cup, but as a footballer you want to be in form every three days."

Bayern Munich players must share the goalscoring burden after Robert Lewandowski's move to Barcelona, according to Joshua Kimmich, who hopes new arrival Matthijs de Ligt can contribute at both ends of the pitch.

Lewandowski completed his long-awaited move to Camp Nou earlier this week, having declared "something had died" within him after netting 50 goals in all competitions during his final season with the Bundesliga champions.

The Poland international has scored a total of 312 Bundesliga goals, with 238 of them coming during an eight-year spell with the Bavarian giants, and finished as the league's top goalscorer in each of the last five seasons.

Bayern had already added Liverpool's Sadio Mane in a bid to lessen the impact of Lewandowski's exit, but Kimmich believes the Senegal forward cannot replace the 33-year-old's goals alone.

"With Lewy we lose a lot of goals, which we all have to make up for collectively," he told Bayern fans at an event in Washington, D.C. 

"Sadio Mane is a great player, but I don't think he's the player who scores 40 or 50 goals in the end. Sadio is hungry, wants to win titles, wants to score goals and move forward. We hope to see that from him.

"He brings other qualities with him, so that another might score more goals. We have a few attacking players who can be dangerous.

"It's also one of my targets to score more goals. There were three goals last season, that can definitely be improved."

 

Having received an estimated €50million for Lewandowski's services, Bayern announced the signing of Netherlands international De Ligt on Tuesday, as they bid to strengthen in defence.

Kimmich believes reinforcing Bayern's backline could make all the difference after the loss of Lewandowski's goals, though he also backed the defender to contribute going forward.

"Matthijs de Ligt has the skills to lead, organise and direct," Kimmich added. "Hopefully he will score a goal or two for us, which is important after Lewy's departure. 

"The 50 goals have to go somewhere! It's good for us when we have someone at the back who's good at tackling, who can organise, and also scores goals. We have great quality in the central defender position.

"Without Lewy, it's even more important to work better at the back. And as long as we're winning the games, it doesn't matter if we have a number nine."

Meanwhile, Kimmich could feature alongside a new midfield partner next term after the club signed Ajax's breakthrough star Ryan Gravenberch for a reported fee of €19m.

And the 27-year-old was enthusiastic about Gravenberch's progress since joining, adding: "He's doing really well in training. 

"[He's a] super boy, very sure on the ball, technically top, physically good. He's 19 years old, it's impressive that he's already at such a high level. He can be very helpful to us."

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