Bierhoff must go! Berthold calls for Germany changes

Team manager Oliver Bierhoff should lose his role after Germany's World Cup exit, says former international Thomas Berthold.

Crashing out: Germany's Mesut Ozil (left) and Mats Hummels after their defeat to South Korea at Kazan on June 27.   -  AFP

Former Germany international Thomas Berthold has called for national team manager Oliver Bierhoff to be replaced.

Germany suffered a humiliating group-stage exit at this year's World Cup, becoming the third defending champion in a row to suffer such a fate after Italy in 2010 and Spain in 2014.

Writing in his regular column for German publication Kicker, Berthold said: ''The damage to our image is huge, and this is Oliver Bierhoff's main responsibility.

"The now overdone commercialisation and the alienation of the national team from fans and media is due to him.

"The manager must be gone.

 "There needs to be a big cut in the national team, regardless of private ties or old merits. Back to professionals who do not view themselves too seriously. No polished little boys, but men with an unfulfilled hunger for success."

Bierhoff finished as a runner up in the 2002 World Cup with Die Mannschaft, having previously won the 1996 European Championship with the national team.

Having retired from playing in 2003, he was appointed as the team manager in 2004, charged with maintaining public relations between the team and the media.

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