Germany weren't at their best for the World Cup. Photo: Michael Dalder/Reuters

Franz Beckenbauer believes Germany need to rejuvenate their team in order to rediscover the passion of international football following the World Cup debacle.

Defending champions Germany crashed out in the first group stage for the first time in Russia.

"From the outside, I had the impression that the passion had ebbed away in the four years since the World Cup victory. A rebuilding with hungry, promising players is therefore the right way to go," the 72-year-old told the Bild newspaper on Saturday.

Beckenbauer, who along with 2018 champion Didier Deschamps of France and Brazil's Mario Zagallo is one of three people to have won the World Cup as a player and a coach, thinks pride is an important element of playing for your country.

"Singing (the national anthem) before the game prepares yourself more than chewing gum," he said.

Midfielder Mesut Ozil quit the Germany team in the wake of the World Cup exit having been accused by some fans of not caring enough. Ozil, who is of Turkish descent, was controversially photographed with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before the tournament.

Beckenbauer said Germany's failure in Russia was down to "the attitude of the players."


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