Muller wants time to assess after 'brutally deep sting' of Germany's World Cup exit

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Thomas Muller needs time to decide his international future after Germany's early World Cup exit, the Bayern Munich star said on Sunday.

A surprise defeat to Japan in Germany's opening game in Qatar was followed by a 1-1 draw with Spain, with elimination confirmed despite a 4-2 victory over Costa Rice in their final group match.

It represented the second group-stage elimination in a row for Germany at the World Cup, having fallen at the same hurdle when defending their title in Russia four years ago.

Muller heavily hinted at retirement from Germany duty after the team's latest elimination, and he has now stated he has begun the process of dealing with the events.

Muller posted a lengthy message on Instagram that read: "The sting is brutally deep, felt deeper than usual.

"It was a wave of emotions. Anticipation, ambition, politics, rejection, opening defeat, hope and recognition after game 2, then with our first tournament victory at the same time the elimination and therefore the complete disaster."

Muller, now 33, was a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014 and has scored 44 goals in 121 appearances for the national team.

He said of this World Cup disappointment: "It's more opaque than usual, there are more contradictions. It's more difficult at this World Cup to filter and interpret what you've experienced correctly. How to evaluate the achievements and results?

"The big question in life: what happened? Despite all the experience with great successes and also crushing defeats, I will need some time this time to organise everything.

"A big thank-you goes out to everyone who has supported us as a team and myself personally over the last few weeks – even in difficult moments! See you soon."