The Newsroom reviews each team in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Team: Germany.
With no European country ever winning the World Cup on South American soil, Germany come into this campaign as one of the hopefuls looking to change history. Germany won the title in 1954, 1974 and 1990, when East and West were divided. Hopes are high despite a poor final appearance in 2002 and third placing in both 2006 and 2010.
Germany was one of the strongest qualifiers despite a tricky group by continental standards. Only a 4-4 draw with Sweden denied them a perfect record after going unbeaten across 10 previous fixtures. The Germans can boast the most proficient attack after qualifying from UEFA Group C with 36 goals including a 1-6 demolition of the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.
The Eagles have been pooled into Group G in Brazil, where they will face Portugal, Ghana and the United States in what may well prove to be a very tough contest.
FIFA World Ranking: 3rd
Strengths: At the centre of the park, a cluster of star players will combine to strike fear into the best sides. Fuelled by their organisation, the German midfield can stamp its authority on a match by playing with control and efficient movement of the ball, where Bayern Munich teammates Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger should play a holding role with Mesut Ozil at the apex.
Weaknesses: Joachim Low has persisted with a lone striker during his tenure as Germany manager, and it seems to be the only area that could be exploited by the opposition. Miroslav Klose has cemented the spot ahead of Mario Gomez and needs only three goals in this campaign to become the new highest scorer at a World Cup, but having only one recognised striker may not serve the Eagles well.
Key player: A transfer to Arsenal from Real Madrid shocked many as Arsene Wenger took a rare dip into the Gunners wallet to secure Mesut Ozil for the 2013/14 Premier League season. Though his domestic form was shaky at best, a return of eight goals during Germany’s qualifying campaign showed Ozil still has the ability to find the net despite his playmaker tag. A combination of guile and vision have seen the 25-year-old prosper in a German jersey.
Manager: Known for both fashion and tactical style, Joachim Low has been the official head coach at the German national team since 2006, though it is said his apprenticeship under Jurgen Klinsmann was at the very least pro-active. Favouring the 4-2-3-1 formation that will be popular in Brazil, Low has created a well-oiled squad that can and will dictate for long periods against any opponent.
Prediction: The united German team has the squad to break its duck this year. A final awaits for this imposing side. – Patrick Boddan