Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann holds back tears and stings Anthony Taylor after Euros exit | Football | Sport

Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann was bleary-eyed and croaky-voiced after watching his side crash out of Euro 2024 on Friday. Spain proved a task too difficult to overcome as Mikel Merino’s 119th-minute header sealed a dramatic 2-1 victory for La Roja after extra-time.

Die Mannschaft were fancied by many to win their home tournament, having reached Friday’s showdown without tasting defeat. And that made the result even more painful for Nagelsmann and his players.

„I’m fighting back tears,“ the usually stern-faced manager told ARD. „When the players talk about the last few weeks, it’s emotional. A special time is coming to an end.“

English referee Anthony Taylor had a tough time controlling a fiery affair. Toni Kroos set the tone with a meaty tackle on Pedri inside two minutes which sent the youngster hobbling off injured.

And Germany felt they had a credible penalty shout when a Jamal Musiala’s shot struck the hand of Marc Cucurella, but Taylor and his team officials waved the claim away.

Nagelsmann wasn’t impressed, saying: „[If the shot is goal-bound] then it is clearly a penalty. Musiala’s shot was very good. It probably even goes in, and the hand is stretched out far away. The decision will not be reversed either way, regardless of whether he gives it or not. But I’m more inclined to think it was handball.“

German former referee Manuel Grafe also hit out at Taylor on social media for having a ‚weak game‘. He wrote on X: „[Taylor] missed a yellow card against Kroos and then felt he had to compensate for everything: excessive yellow cards for other players and this handball decision, which doesn’t fit the UEFA line.

„When Musiala shoots, both [of Cucurella’s] arms are out, but only one arm is brought to the body, the other is in the shooting path and not beforehand on the body – penalty!“

Taylor did eventually take drastic action when Spanish full-back Dani Carvajal was shown a second yellow card for dragging down Musiala in the dying moments of the game. By that time, Spain were already in front with a last-gasp lead to protect.

Adding an extra layer of sorrow to Germany’s narrow defeat is Kroos‘ retirement. Fans were desperate for the ex-Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder to end his career on a high, but Merino’s header ensured it finished with an agonising result.

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