The stage is set and only few days remain for the inaugural of the greatest show on earth FIFA World Cup in Russia. In the latest of this series ahead of the World Cup in Russia, we will analyze the chances and potential of reigning champions Germany.
After five-time champions Brazil, Germany are the most successful team in the World Cup. Although Italians are also in the blend by winning the same number of World Cup titles as Germany (4 times). But Germany are undoubtedly the most consistent team in the tourney. This current crop of German players certainly has the potential to win the whole thing again and create history.
Germany’s biggest strength has always been the team spirit, the idea that a strong group of players will always be superior to individual talents. The recent controversy over Leroy Sane’s omission from the squad might have raised few eyebrows but without even him Germany are still good enough to lift the trophy in Russia. In goal-keeping position Neuer’s return will boost the whole team, they also have Barcelona’s first choice goalkeeper Ter Stegen as Neuer’s backup. In defense, leaders like Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels are there. Presence of Real Madrid star midfielder Toni Kross, currently one of the best midfielder in the world, will be a pivotal as he can dictate the engine room of Germany with ease. His ability to get himself into dangerous positions near the box makes him one of the most complete midfielders in world football. Another key player will be experienced forward Thomas Muller, and one who has become an icon of coach Joachim Low’s tenure in charge of the national team.
Germany also have few young blood added in the attacking positions. Striker Timo Werner and the man who effectively took Sané’s place in the squad, forward Julian Brandt, will be the players to watch out for. Brandt is a 22-year-old winger from Bayer Leverkusen who is right-footed but is equally comfortable operating on either flank. Last season, he scored 12 goals and assisted seven others in all competitions, and he’s probably a better tactical fit for Löw’s system than Sané given he’s used to operating in a similar one at club level. Last season, striker Timo Werner of RB Leipzig scored 21 goals and provided ten assists in all competitions.
The holders have to be considered as one of the favourites to lift the trophy again in Russia. 2014 World Cup triumph was Germany’s first since 1990. They have reached the semis at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, and the 2008, 2012 and 2016 European Championships, which shows their great level of consistency. The last nation to win back-to-back World Cups was Brazil (1958 and 1962) and though it’s going to be difficult for Germany to achieve that feat this summer, you wouldn’t put it past them.
On paper, German squad is one of the best at the World Cup but as we know only too well, the game isn’t played on paper