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Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover)

Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria)

Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Christoph Kramer (Borussia Monchengladbach), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg)

Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)


Team ProfileEdit

After three successive World Cup near misses, the pressure is on Germany to end their long wait for a fourth title in Brazil.

They finished as runners-up in South Korea and Japan in 2002 before being beaten at the semi-final stage in both 2006 on home soil and again in 2010, meaning that it is now 24 years since Germany last lifted the famous trophy, at Italia '90.

However, with the strength-in-depth available to head coach Joachim Low, 2014 could again be their year.

In Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund they have two of the best club sides in world football, and both teams are littered with German internationals.

They finished their qualifying group with an unbeaten record, while only Sweden were able to stop them completing a clean sweep with a 4-4 draw in October.

Portugal, Ghana and the United States await them in Group G, with the Portuguese looking likely to be their biggest threat.

They should hold plenty of confidence though in once again progressing to the latter stages.

Germany have played their European rivals Portugal on nine occasions, with five wins to Portugal's one.

Portugal's only success came at Euro 2000, when Sergio Conceicao struck a stunning hat-trick to win the game, and their only previous World Cup finals encounter came in in the third-place play-off in 2006, which Germany won 3-1.

Low's men hold an equally impressive record against the USA, and won both meetings at previous World Cups (1998 and 2002).

Meanwhile, in their two previous fixtures with Ghana, Germany have won both, scoring seven goals and conceding only one.

Making it out of the group is the very least that will be expected of Low's side, who will hold genuine hopes of at least matching their achievement of four years ago when they were beaten in the last four by eventual winners Spain.

And with quality right throughout their ranks - from Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer through a defensive line that includes the likes of Philipp Lahm, Mats Hummels and Per Mertesacker, midfield creativity from Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller and the attacking instincts of Miroslav Klose - they have rightly been tipped among the favourites this time.

For Low, Brazil 2014 marks a chance to guide Germany back to the very highest level in what is his fourth major tournament in charge since taking over from Jurgen Klinsmann – who he will go up against, with his former mentor now in charge of the USA.

And Low has plenty of belief in his squad.

"We are a settled team," he told the DFB's official website. "For us, though new players have been added, the core of team has been team familiar for some time.

"Also, my players now have much more international experience.

"I have great confidence in my players - and just as much in my entire coaching and support team.

"I expect football to go to a new level (in Brazil). The game has evolved, the players, the teams are evolving.

"A World Cup brings together the best - and to compete with the best is a great joy."

Player Profile (Bastian Schweinsteiger)Edit

Position: Midfielder
Date of Birth: August 1, 1984
Club: Bayern Munich
International Debut: v Hungary (June 6, 2004)
World Cup Appearances: 14
World Cup Goals: 2

Bastian Schweinsteiger will be determined to end his wait for major international honours at the FIFA World Cup after several near-misses.

The tenacious Bayern Munich midfielder has enjoyed frequent success at domestic level, winning the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal on multiple occasions and also lifting the UEFA Champions League in 2013.

However, despite reaching the semi-finals of four successive tournaments with Germany, Schweinsteiger has yet to claim a trophy with his national team.

Defeat to Spain in the 2008 UEFA European Championship final was sandwiched in between third-place finishes in each of the last two World Cups, while Germany were beaten by Italy in the last four at Euro 2012.

Schweinsteiger is understandably keen to ensure he and his team-mates go that little bit further by claiming glory in Brazil this year.

"The Champions League and the World Cup are the two biggest titles in the world," he told Kicker.

"Of course I would also like to win the second. I always wanted to be in this position - responsible for success and failure. The World Cup is a big highlight of my career.

"The advantage of my current situation is that my level of experience and physical condition is about the same.

"As a footballer, that is the best and most beautiful time."

The 29-year-old is a key figure for Germany coach Joachim Low and will be looked upon to dictate play from the centre of the park.

A genuine box-to-box midfielder, Schweinsteiger could exert a significant influence on his country's bid for success, which will begin with group games against Portugal, Ghana and the United States.

Since Pep Guardiola's arrival at the Allianz Arena ahead of the 2013-14 season, Schweinsteiger has often operated in midfield for Bayern alongside Germany captain Philipp Lahm, with the latter having been switched from his previous role as a full-back.

"Philipp and I are now an established team and we know each other's moods and tendencies and those things are important for success," added Schweinsteiger.

"We've both been through a lot together. Losing the Champions League final at home (to Chelsea in 2012) was certainly something that has bound us together."

Schweinsteiger's value is illustrated by the fact he has played in each of Germany's last 14 World Cup games.

An influential presence on home soil in 2006, when his team were beaten in a semi-final by eventual winners Italy, Schweinsteiger scored twice from long range in the third-placed play-off against Portugal.

Four years later in South Africa, he impressed alongside Sami Khedira as Germany made it to the last four before again bowing out to the team that would go on to win the competition, Vicente Del Bosque's Spain.

With vast experience behind him - he earned his 100th international cap against Sweden last November - Schweinsteiger could hardly be better prepared for the challenge he faces in Brazil.

And having made it to the latter stages of consecutive World Cups without tasting success, he now has the opportunity to make it third time lucky.

News SourcesEdit



DFB official


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