World Cup: Media Mocks, Ratings Soar as Germany Knocked Out

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Sixty percent of South Korean viewers watched their team defeat the defending world champions 2-0 as the sports media, particularly in Britain, engages in some “schadenfreude.”

The dramatic and historic exit by defending world champions Germany from the first round of the 2018 soccer World Cup has triggered waves of celebratory mocking from both official media and trolling fans online.

Germany's surprise 0-2 defeat to South Korea on Wednesday sent Die Mannschaft home packing after just three matches, marking an inglorious end to the campaign of the team that took home the World Cup trophy in Brazil four years ago. It was the first time Germany has failed to qualify for the second round of a World Cup. 

Germany mourned — typified by leading German tabloid Bild, which ran a cover with the words “speechless” — contrasting its front page with that from June 2014, when it used the same headline, in a very different mood, to celebrate Germany's 7-1 clobbering of Brazil in the 2014 semi-final.

But the rest of world, used to Germany's on-field dominance, couldn't help taking a dig at the one-time champs.

British Tabloid The Sun summed up the feeling of England fans, who have endured more than their share of World Cup disappointments, in a single word: schadenfreude.

While Fox Sports in Brazil gets the most unsportsmanship award for this tweet following the German exit.

For South Korea, the match was sweet revenge for Germany's 1-0 win at the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup, which South Korea co-hosted with Japan.

The Wednesday match drew a 60.96 percent share of the viewing audience over KBS, MBC and SBS, the three Korean networks that carried the match. That's significantly above the top 52.5 share reached by the most-watched games of 2014.

Some 25.4 million German football fans tuned in to the match on public broadcaster ZDF. The total viewership was the lowest of Germany's three World Cup matches this year, largely due to the early kick-off time of the South Korean game. But with an 87.5 percent share, the match scored the highest audience share of any so far this tournament.