The team: It’s fair to say that Germany are one of the most exciting teams to watch in world football at the moment. Their free-flowing attacking football, which resulted in a Europe-wide best 36-goal haul in qualification, has won many admirers. However, defensive frailties remain, highlighted in dramatic fashion by the 4-4 draw with Sweden during qualifying after throwing away a four-goal lead. But coach Joachim Löw has vowed to rectify this problem, and they’ll be one of the favourites in Brazil.
The coach: Joachim Löw
When Jurgen Klinsmann’s reign as Germany coach ended in 2006, his assistant Joachim Löw stepped into the top job and proved an immediate success. Löw’s attacking philosophy is well known and has carried Germany to at least the semi-finals in the last three major tournaments.
Key player: Philipp Lahm
Germany aren’t short on star players, but keeping everything together is captain Philipp Lahm. The 30-year-old has been instrumental in Bayern Munich’s recent success, both as a marauding full-back and more recently as a commanding defensive midfielder. While the players further up the pitch will likely steal the headlines, Lahm will make sure everything is ticking over.
World ranking: 2
World Cup appearances: 17
Previous best: Winners in 1954, 1974 and 1990
Qualification: Winner of group
Form (qualifiers): WWWDWWWWWW
Fixtures: June 16 vs. Portugal; June 21 vs. Ghana; June 26 vs. USA