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Michael Ballack surprised by timing of Joachim Low contract

Michael Ballack admits to being 'shocked' by Germany's early World Cup exit, and questions why Joachim Low was given a new four-year deal before the tournament started.

Former Germany international Michael Ballack has questioned the German Football Federation's decision to reward Joachim Low with a new contract shortly before their World Cup campaign.

Long-serving boss Low extended his deal with Die Mannschaft less than a month before the competition started, taking him through until the end of Qatar 2020.

The move appears to have backfired, however, as a poor showing in Russia saw Germany fall at the first hurdle at the showpiece competition for the first time since 1938, culminating in a humiliating 2-0 loss to South Korea on Wednesday.

Ballack is unsure why Low extended his terms before the tournament, with Sky Sports News quoting him as saying: "The result from Wednesday in Kazan was a total shock for me.

"After a European Championship or World Cup, you can judge the work that has been done in the previous two years. Friendlies and tournament qualifiers for a footballing nation like Germany are not proper indicators of the state of our team.

"For this reason, it was unnecessary to give Joachim Low a four-year contract extension just four weeks before the World Cup started. Whether Low is still the right person to manage this team, I cannot say.

"There is no explanation as to how a team with this quality can end at the bottom of this group. How can this group of players struggle with all these basics of football?"

Germany's next scheduled match is a UEFA Nations League clash against France in early September.

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Germany manager Joachim Low on March 27, 2018
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