Max Kruse criticizes former national coach Joachim Löw: “So hypocritical”

Max Kruse only recently ended his career. Now he spoke in a podcast – and sharply criticized former national coach Joachim Löw.

In December 2023, Max Kruse hung up his football boots. “The time has come for me, at 35, to start a new phase of my life,” he announced via Instagram. Kruse, who played in the Bundesliga for FC St. Pauli, Borussia Mönchengladbach, VfL Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen and Union Berlin, had terminated his contract with second division club SC Paderborn a few weeks earlier.

But Kruse apparently can’t give up on football. Since the beginning of the year he has had a podcast called “Flatterball” with his former teammate Martin Harnik. There Kruse also spoke about his time with the DFB team and attacked those responsible for their treatment of him.

Kruse von Bierhoff caught: “Send the woman home”

Specifically, it’s about an incident from November 2013. When the German national team was in England for an international match, Kruse summoned a woman to his hotel room. But that was taboo.

“We first played poker. And as I am, I come up with stupid ideas and then I quickly called someone to my room after 11 p.m.,” said Kruse. He then let the woman in and talked to her. But he was caught.

“Five minutes later there was a sudden knock on my door. My heart was pounding. I wanted to look through the keyhole. But my hand was held up from outside,” said the former goalscorer. So he opened the door. The then DFB managing director Oliver Bierhoff and assistant coach Hansi Flick were standing there. According to Kruse, Bierhoff said: “Send the woman home, we’ll talk about the rest tomorrow.”

Not expulsion, but praise

The interview should then have taken place the next day. The participants: national coach Joachim Löw, Hansi Flick and Max Kruse. But the player was not thrown out. On the contrary: he was praised by both coaches.

“They said: We are very happy with you in terms of football. You can now think about whether football is more important to you besides,” Kruse remembered. But he can’t afford to make any more mistakes now. The whole thing is a final warning. He was told: “If that comes out, we as a national team cannot afford that.”

Anger at Löw: “Just do it strictly”

Despite the incident, Kruse was in the starting line-up for the game against England. The substitution followed later. It was to be Kruse’s last appearance until after the 2014 World Cup, which Germany ultimately won. “And I found that so hypocritical,” said Kruse.

What he means: “Then just tell me: ‘Max, you messed up, that’s it for you in the national team,'” said Kruse. “Just do it strictly. But acting like I’ll get another chance and then just not inviting me.”

Only after the World Cup did Löw nominate Kruse for the DFB team again, but after further incidents he was removed from his international squad in 2016. In 2021 he was allowed to play for a German national team again. U21 coach Stefan Kuntz nominated him for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.