Hansi Flick has been fired as Germany head coach on Sunday, the country’s football federation (DFB) announced, one day after a 4-1 loss to Japan deepened the gloom around the squad ahead of next year’s European Championship to be hosted by the country.
The DFB said director Rudi Völler would be one of three coaches taking charge of the team in the next game, a friendly against France on Tuesday in Dortmund.
Germany have not won any of their past five games and were eliminated in the group stage at last year’s World Cup.
Flick said after the loss to Japan that he wanted to remain as coach and insisted he was the right person for the job. Sunday’s announcement came hours after he led the team in a public training session attended by fans.
Flick won the Champions League with Bayern Munich in 2020 and took the Germany job the following year. He started by winning his first eight games — without facing any of Europe’s top teams — but has just four wins from 17 matches since then.
Germany captain Ilkay Gündogan backed Flick to remain after the Japan game but said the team sorely lacked cohesion.
“A lot of our players, they are in a mental fight with themselves. There’s no confidence, there’s no understanding for the timing, for the right decisions on the pitch,” Gündogan told broadcaster beIN.
The interim coaching staff faces a tough task against France, who have won all of their five Euro 2024 qualifiers without conceding a single goal since losing the World Cup final on penalties to Argentina last year.
A likely permanent replacement could be Julian Nagelsmann. He was Flick’s successor at Bayern until the club replaced him with Thomas Tuchel in March. After the France game, Germany are next in action Oct. 14 against the United States, and Mexico four days later.
“Now, us in charge, have to act in order to be able to play next year at the Euro the demanding and ambitious role of hosts that we are hoping to play. That is what German fans rightly expect from us,” said Völler, who was national team coach from 2000 to 2004.
“The most urgent thing is then to bring in a national team coach who at short notice can redirect and prepare our team for the big Euro tournament next year.
“We expect from them, as does the whole country, positive impulses. A coach who can lift our level to where we know and expect it to be.”