Strong, powerful, determined; three words so often used to classically describe the German national side, but words that do not efficiently sum up Joachim Loew’s squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Manager: Joachim Loew
Captain: Philipp Lahm
World Cup Winners: 1954, 1974, 1990
World Cup Runners-Up: 1966, 1982, 1986, 2002
Chock full of attacking subtlety, guile and imagination; this squad represents an evolution of styles in Germany, away from blunt force, and to sharp, rapier-like invention, typified by a cluster of fantastic young midfielders, all reaching the peak of their powers, who make this German side one of the favourites for the trophy.
The injection of Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Julian Draxler make Loew’s one of the most affluent attacking squads at the tournament, and they are certainly not lacking in the defence.
Arsenal giant Per Mertesacker and Dortmund star Mats Hummels will sit in front of IFFHS Goalkeeper of the Year Manuel Neuer, with captain Philipp Lahm, Sami Khedira and all-rounder Bastian Schweinsteiger making this side brilliantly balanced.
Striker Miroslav Klose is rather a blast from the past up top, but one more goal from the 35-year-old and he will be the top ever scorer in World Cup history.
The Germans have finished in the top three in the last three World Cup Finals, and it would take a brave man to bet against them ending their 24 year wait for a fourth trophy win this summer in South America.
Germany 2014 World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria)
Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich), Christoph Kramer (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Forward: Miroslav Klose (Lazio)
Key player(s): Mario Gotze, Philipp Lahm
Germany 2014 World Cup stats: