GERMANY: Eyes fixed on a World Cup Final

A strong German national team has its sight set on winning more silverware for the trophy cabinet
by Katherine Rupp   |   Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bycolored – column on Ottawa Fury & the Ottawa area soccer scene.

Germany – as a national team – was founded over 100 years ago and with 3 World Cups to their name and 3 Euro championships in their trophy cabinet, the European powerhouse looks to claim another World Cup crowning as their own.

Under the direction of Joachim Löw, who was US Men’s National Team head coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s former assistant coach for the German national team but was subsequently promoted to head coach in 2006, Die Mannschaft look to be a formidable opponent not only for the Group G group stage games but also for subsequent matches.

One missing player who is sure to be missed – although with the team Germany has, they will be able to fill his spot – is Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus. The attacking midfielder tore ankle ligaments in a warm-up match leading up to the World Cup and is expected to take about 3 months recuperating.

And while Reus sits out of the World Cup, other teammates who will be looking to bring the World Cup back to Deutschland include goalkeeper for Bayern Munich, Manuel Neuer; defenders Jerome Boateng (whose half-brother Kevin Prince Boateng will pull on the jersey for the Black Stars of Ghana), Mats Hummels, and Philipp Lahm; midfielders Mario Gotze (who’s himself had some disgruntled fans because of his move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich in 2013), Mesut Ozil, and Bastian Schweinsteiger; and finally – and technically – the only forward named to the 23-man roster, Miroslav Klose.

This incredible roster of German national players look to regain control of the World Cup, one in which they last hoisted in 1990 when it was hosted in Italy. By placing third at the 2006 World Cup in their home country as well as at South Africa’s 2010 World Cup, in addition to coming up third at the 2012 UEFA European Championship and second in 2008’s Euro tournament, the Germans have a desire to prove they’re worthy of receiving the designation of being ranked second nation in the world by FIFA.

The core of the team – which includes Neuer, Lahm, and Schweinsteiger, among others – is pitted against willing opponents in Portugal, Ghana, and the United States in Group G for this 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Even though Germany is picked by pundits and fans alike to more than likely be the first team from Group G to move on in the tournament, that certainly does not mean that they should take their opponents lightly. With Löw at the helm and Lahm captaining the squad, the expectations of the country’s fans should, however, be quelled with what is often predicted as an eventual 9 points for the 3-time World Cup champions.

One thing to watch out for during Brazil’s World Cup is the style of play that is usually played by Germany. When fans look in the past and even now think of the German national team, the squad is thought of as a more rigid, very disciplined, strong, and focused team. Now with Löw as the head coach, the German players are more susceptible to play more fluidly with a bit of creativity in the mix. What’s more, the German attack – whether midfield or forward, and occasionally a fullback pushed up the field a la Fabian Johnson for the US national team – is quite lethal, not necessarily because of their quick and intricate footwork but moreso because of the teamwork through passes, crosses, dribbling and communication, along with the finishing.

Germany is, and almost always, seen as a contender to lift the World Cup and other major trophies for which they are in contention, and this 2014 tournament is no different. Although Die Mannschaft looks to dominate Group G – or the Group of Death as it’s been deemed – the Germans should not look lightly at Ghana, Portugal and the United States as each of the other teams have something to play for and to prove. Regardless of the points, what teams end up advancing, and what players are the breakout players of the group stages or even of the World Cup, this German team is something special and will be fun to watch.

NEXT UP: June 16 – Germany v. Portugal, Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil. 12 p.m. EST, ESPN.

Katherine RUPP

Nationality:
USA
College:
Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.
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