World Cup-winning Germany captain Lothar Matthaus says a “new team” needs to be built for upcoming tournaments.
And Matthaus, who lifted the World Cup in 1990, does not think Germany can complain after they crashed out of the World Cup in Russia on Wednesday.
The reigning champions seemed to have salvaged their tournament when they beat Sweden 2-1 on Saturday, thanks to a dramatic late winner.
But they ended up finishing bottom of the group after a stunning 2-0 defeat to South Korea on Wednesday.
Matthaus said: “Germany didn’t perform very well, I think the players were not in the best condition.
“When you have a performance like the Germans did in the last three games, then I think you don’t have the right to go to the next round.
“I didn’t feel they had the right team spirit.
“I am not upset with the results, I am more upset with the performance from the players.”
Regarding the future direction of the team, Matthaus added: “It is very difficult, we have to build a new team for the next tournaments.
“(Mesut) Ozil, (Sami) Khedira, maybe (Thomas) Muller and (Jerome) Boateng, are players who did not perform well – they are aged around 30 and we have to think what happens in four years, when the next World Cup is coming.
“The coach has to think what can we do better in the future.
“Mario Gomez is 32 and an age where I think he has no future in the national team but Thomas Muller, I think he has character and a good feeling to be a national player and he is a leader.
“We will discuss these four or five players but I think the player has to think, ‘Can I help the national team in the future or do I need to focus on my club?'”
Longstanding Germany manager Joachim Low guided them to glory in 2014 and said in the wake of the South Korea loss that it was too early to make any pronouncements on his future.
Matthaus said: “I think he was doing a very good job in the last 14 years, two years like a second coach by the side of [former boss] Jurgen Klinsmann, and 12 years he brought the team always to the top four in the European Championships and the World Cup.
“He will ask himself what was going wrong – he is a serious guy, he is not going from one day to the other.
“He is the coach and he has to decide the future – he has a contract until 2022.
“The federation will not fire him, Low will decide for himself, and I think he needs a little bit of time to make the right decision.”