World Cup Preview: Germany

Germany

The German national football team are the 2014 World Cup champions and they have the balance needed to defend their title. But we must look at the history of World Cup winners where only Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962) have defended their title. Without history, winning the 2018 World Cup will be impossible, even with a little luck.

In goal, the Germans are spoiled with Captain Manuel Neuer returning from injury and first-choice keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, winner of 2017-2018 La Liga with Barcelona F.C. They will be protected by defenders belonging to one club – Bayern Munich that includes Jerome Boateng (returning from injury), Mats Hummels, and Joshua Kimmich. It came as no surprise as these defenders claimed the German Budesliga once again in 2017-2018.

There is an endless amount of midfield talent as you may already know and they also have the recent club-level success that is needed. Toni Kroos and his Champions League winning form will provide consistent quality plays in the middle with Sami Khedira (Juventus – Serie A champions) in a supporting role. There are other great options that include domestic champions such as Julian Draxler of Paris St-Germain and Ilkay Gundogan of Manchester City F.C.

The group of forwards includes 2014 World Cup Champions such as Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, and Marco Reus. These are three brilliant, fearless, and technically gifted forwards and they will put their opponents to the test for 90 minutes. There is no reason to be concerned with the omission of Leroy Sane, the 2017-2018 PFA’s Young Player of the Year.

Similar to the Spanish national team, there is controversy that manager Joachim Low has had to manage. Ozil and Gundogan were pictured with Turkish President Erdogan, a known human rights abuser, during his election. More broadly, they have been thrust into the middle of an immigration policy that has fluctuated towards conservatism in Germany since 2014. These two players have already shown their allegiance to Germany and it appears sufficient for the manager and remaining players on the team.

There does not appear to be any issue related to cohesion away from the pitch but this team has a reputation for handling matters privately. Proof of discord and disarray will be seen on the pitch where nobody can hide.

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