FIFA World Cup Preview: Germany a Strong FavoritePublished June 8, 2014 by OCR Editor
Germany arrives to Brazil 2014 with an excellent squad and a very big appetite for winning the World Cup.
Germany is a strong favorite for winning the World Cup, if not the strongest. The team packs a squad built of devilishly skilled players who are all very hungry for the title. The higher levels are the problem for the Germans: In the last 12 years, the "Mannschaft" has developed a habit of getting really close to the title but never actually winning it.
A History of "Almost"
It began at the 2002 World Cup, when the Germans lost to Brazil in the finals, then in Euro 2004, the team didn't even advance from its group. The 2006 World Cup hosted in Germany brought high hopes with the appointment of former star Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach. These hopes were squashed when the Germans conceded two goals to the Italians in the semi-finals during extra time. In Euro 2008 current coach Joachim Loew brought the team to the tourney's final where they lost 0-1 to Spain.
The 2010 World Cup in South Africa saw an impressive German team, steamrolling some high-quality opponents like 4-1 over England and 4-0 over the promising Argentina in the quarterfinals. The semifinals however saw the Germans lose 0-1 to Spain once again, then again the Euro 2012 was marked by a semi-final loss to the Italians.
A Fit Squad
Germany's squad is covered in all levels: At the back the team relies on goalkeeper Manuel Neuer alongside top defenders such as Per Mertesacker , Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer, with one of the world's best full back players Philip Lahm also serving as captain. The midfield is covered by top players Mesut Ozil, Tony Kroos and Bastian Schweinsteiger with Mario Gotze, Marco Reus and Thomas Muller at the forward, supported by battle-hardened veterans Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski sitting on the bench.
Key Player: Marco Reus
Marco Reus is one of Germany's biggest hopes for the World Cup. The 25 year old midfielder had a fantastic season at with Dortmund, tallying 21 goals and 22 assists in all competitions this last year. Reus is a wise player with spectacular passing and finishing skills - he knows well that he could become the man of the hour for Germany, with Brazil presenting him a great opportunity to shine.
Player to Watch: Miroslav Klose
Miroslav Klose is one of Germany's senior players, playing the big tournaments since World Cup 2002. At 36, Brazil is probably Klose's last World Cup on the pitch. Despite the high probability that he won't star in opening line-ups, Klose is a hungry wildcard with 14 World Cup goals in his record, close to beating Ronaldo's 15.
Group of Death
Germany will face Portugal, Ghana and the USA in Group G, already called the "group of death". The opening game on June 16th will face Germany against strong rivals Portugal, and the games against Ghana and the USA are not expected to be any easier. Yet, Germany remains a very secure bet from the group stage and until the semifinals at the very minimum.