Kimmich suggests World Cup 'childhood dream' with Germany tainted by Qatar concerns

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Joshua Kimmich's "childhood dream" has been somewhat ruined by Qatar hosting the World Cup, with "no real joy" for Germany in the build-up to the tournament.

Bayern Munich's Kimmich made three appearances at right-back as Germany crashed to a group-stage exit at Russia 2018, with Qatar 2022 proving his first real opportunity since making a name as a midfielder.

But the 27-year-old has been left wanting with the ongoing concerns surrounding the human rights record in Qatar, where same-sex relationships are prohibited and homosexuality is illegal.

Kimmich remains underwhelmed due to the ongoing off-field distractions, though he assured Germany are firing on all fronts ahead of Wednesday's Group E opener against Japan.

"I would like to be able to look forward to a World Cup, even if it takes place here," Kimmich said on Tuesday.

"It's a huge dream for all of us, we're all on fire. We all want to play a good tournament, we all want to win tomorrow and yes, it's not our fault where the World Cup takes place."

Germany have made their dissatisfaction with the hosts known as Die Mannschaft supporters have repeatedly voiced their opposition to the tournament in the Middle East.

"I don't feel like there's any real joy there," added Kimmich on the lack of interest in the tournament back home.

Kimmich, like many other big-name footballing stars, promised to speak out where he sees fit, though he suggested the backlash to FIFA's 2010 decision on Qatar has come too late.

He continued: "We've talked a lot about the fact the World Cup was awarded here.

"That was 12 years ago, when I was 15, and now I somehow always have to comment on it. I don't know if it's always justified.

"But we also have to manage this balancing act of focusing on the sporting side. I mean regardless of where the World Cup is taking place, it's a World Cup, it's the biggest competition for us footballers there is.

"It's a huge childhood dream to play tomorrow, and yet somehow I have the feeling that it's always being talked down a bit or that you can't really look forward to it."

Japan will mark coach Flick's first game at FIFA's top tournament, too, and the German acknowledged a tough task awaits at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

"I have to out myself as a bit of a fan of Japanese football. They are really doing it well," Flick said.

"We see the quality they have in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt's [Daichi] Kamada playing a great season or [Wataru] Endo, who is one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga.

"It is a very big task but we go into the match prepared and look forward to it."