It is said about heavyweight boxers that once they are knocked out, they will never be the same again. o. have gone. A boxer who was unconscious on the boards now leads a different life. He knows his vulnerability, he knows that it can happen again at any time, a blow like that that sends him into a coma, into this intermediate realm on the border of life and death. Such a boxer only wants one thing: not to lose. But win? To do this he would need confidence, courage and a little megalomania. He has lost all of that. It was taken away from him by the fist that hit him so terribly.

The knockout of the German national soccer team was more than a year ago, suffered during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Out after the preliminary round, after winning three games. Anyone who was there at the hour of failure in the Al Chaur stadium, who looked into the empty faces of Ilkay Gündoğan, Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, felt that more was lost than a tournament that evening.

Something big had broken. Joshua Kimmich suspected this himself, he said: “For me it’s the most difficult day of my career. I’m afraid of falling into a hole.”

The night of Al Chaur still has an impact today. Since then, the German national team has no longer been what it was before. The hole that Kimmich feared would not only swallow him, but the entire team including the coach. After the World Cup, the team hardly played a convincing game, even under Julian Nagelsmann, who replaced Hansi Flick in September.

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