Germany has been a model of consistency at the World Cup in the tournament’s 92-year history.
They have lifted the trophy on four occasions – only Brazil (five times) have won it more – and they have never failed to qualify for the finals. Germany was absent from the inaugural World Cup in 1930 of its own accord, as was most of Europe, while being banned from the 1950 qualifiers in the aftermath of World War II.
Germany won the World Cup in its first post-war appearance in 1954. Between 1966 and 1990, it reached at least the semi-finals in six out of seven tournaments and played in five finals.
More recently, a similar run saw them reach the semi-finals or further afield in four consecutive World Cups from 2002 through 2014, winning the latter.
Given their decades-long track record of success on the world stage, it would always be a shock if Germany did not participate in the World Cup. But even their poor standards are better than most.
In the 19 World Cup matches ahead of the 2022 finals in Qatar, Germany have been knocked out of the World Cup in the first round on only two occasions.
The first was in 1938 when the World Cup was very different from what it is now. Tournament 15 (Austria withdrew from 16 qualifiers) was a knockout.
The draw took place between Germany and Switzerland in the first round. That match ended in a 1-1 draw, and in the days leading up to extra time, an impromptu replay was staged five days later. On that occasion, Switzerland won 4-2 to advance to the next round.
As defending champions, Germany did not have a great World Cup in 1978, leapfrogging from the group stage to the second stage, but only winning one of the six matches they played.
But it wasn’t until 2018 that Germany was again knocked out in the first round of the World Cup. The knockout game was not as straightforward as it had been in 1938, but defeats to Mexico and South Korea on either side were not enough to secure the first and second places in the group.