Nothing impossible for Germany (Team Profile)

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Berlin, June 4 (IANS) German fans are always the happiest as their national football team has reached at least the semi-finals of every major tournament since Joachim Loew took over as coach in 2006.

This can surely boost the confidence of the Germans who are aiming to be the first World Cup champions in 56 years to successfully defend the title, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We can accomplish something historic — World Cup champions, Confederations Cup winners and then World Cup champions again — which has never happened,” Loew said recently at the team’s training camp in Italy, according to DPA.

The message is clear that the world’s top ranked team are ready for the tournament which kicks off in 10 days.

“The goal for us all must be to win the title,” Loew said.

Brazil, who lifted the Jules Rimet trophy in 1958 and 1962, were the last team to retain their title. But in half a century, with the progress and popularity of the sport expanding around the globe, the gaps between the giant teams are narrowing, which makes the feat more and more difficult to achieve.

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Loew has clear plans in Russia for title defence.

“We as a team need another improvement if we want to be successful. We have to play even better than we did at the 2014 World Cup,” the 58-year-old head coach said.

Loew stressed the importance of two other important factors — the necessary changes in the team and the hunger to repeat their Brazil 2014 triumph.

After the 2006 World Cup, Loew guided his side to a steady and glorious decade with at least the last-four finish in each major tournament. The success is based on the young generations’ growth and the constant upgrading of the tactical strategy.

When Germany finished as runners-up at Euro 2008, Loew humbly learned the lessons from the final defeat to Spain and researched into the “possession football” style of their opponents.

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From that time on, Germany developed the speed, power and physical advantage, but also improved to a new level with more skillful passing and a high defensive line to maintain the momentum in their matches.

At Euro 2016, Loew again made the tactical changes and tried the new strategy after Italy knocked Spain out of the group stage. He made sure Germany could complete transition between the 3-4-3 and 5-3-2 formations in defence and attack, which helped them to finally beat Italy for the first time in a major tournament.

Therefore in Russia, Germany can have many strategy adjustments while facing different opponents. With the improvement of the individual skills, the defending champions pay more attention to the efficiency of their attack based on their style.

Germany emphasise collective efforts ahead of individuals. There is no superstar in the team but the average power is daunting, which is capable of delivering results.

Based on the successful youth training system in the country, Germany have more young talents to rely on for the necessary tactical change when needed.

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Let’s not forget that at the 2017 Confederations Cup, Loew made his brave decision to take an inexperienced squad to Russia and rest his star players, but still won the dress rehearsal for the World Cup by beating Chile 1-0 at the final in St Petersburg.

That successful result helped him decide to take more than 10 players, who lifted the Confederations Cup, to this summer’s World Cup.

Among the young talents, the fullback Joshua Kimmich, dubbed the “new Philipp Lahm”, is the only player who has played every minute of Germany’s ten World Cup qualifiers. RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner has also been beckoned to be a leading player of his generation.

The backbone of the world champions is still there as Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos will use their experience and chemistry to carry on the team in Russia.

–IANS

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