Meet the 2014 Germany World Cup Team
Germany’s first match in the 2014 World Cup will be against Portugal on June 16th. Besides reigning champion Spain, these are the two top-ranked teams in the world (Germany is number 2, Portugal is 3). This is thee must-see match of the first round, as both teams have high odds to win the entire tournament. Expect this match to be just as competitive, if not more so, than the World Cup title game final itself.
Representing the German team is a mix of young stars and established franchise players.
Here are some quick facts about 2014 Germany World Cup Team:
- Bayern Munich and Dortmund are the two best teams in the German Bundesliga football league. Over half of the 23-man German team is made up of players from those two squads (seven from Bayern, five from Munich)
- Three players from Arsenal, the FA Cup Champions, will be representing Germany.
- Ten of these players were part of the 2010 bronze-winning World Cup team. Eight of those ten are still under 30 years old.
- One player is entering his fourth World Cup and is only two goals away from being the highest scorer in World Cup history.
Read on to find out more about each player:
Manuel Neuer (Goalkeeper) of Bayern Munich: Fifa.com calls Neuer the “undisputed No. 1” for the Germany team. The 28-year-old’s quick reflexes and skilled stopping abilities recently earned him the 2013 World Goalkeeper of the Year honor. Neuer plays for Bayern Munich and only 23 goals were scored against his team all season (34 game season, Neuer played 31 games). Neuer is nursing an injury, but is expected to be at full health in time for his second World Cup appearance.
Roman Weidenfeller (Goalkeeper) from Dortmund: Should Neuer be unable to play in the World Cup, the 33-year old Weidenfeller will be filling in as he makes his first World Cup this year. His Dortmund team allowed 38 goals all season (second-least after Bayern Munich).
Ron-Robert Zieler (Goalkeeper) from Hannover: The former Manchester United backup was eventually cut by the Red Devils only to become an international star on his current Hannover club. Though he is unlikely to start over Neuer or Weidenfeller in his first World Cup appearance, he is still regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the German league.
Erik Durm (Defender) from Dortmund: After spending his first three seasons in the reserve league as a striker, the 22-year-old Durm has shined ever since being assigned to play defense. He’s earned a reputation of having extraordinary endurance and the ability to play entire games without showing fatigue.
Jerome Boateng (Defender) from Bayern Munich: Making his second World Cup appearance at the ripe age of 25, center back Boateng is known for his versatility, toughness, and strength. He was part of the 2011 FA championship Manchester team and only required one year as reserve before being called to play for Hertha BSC in 2007.
Kevin Grosskreutz (Defender) from Dortmund: Regarded as a franchise player for Dortmund, Grosskreutz is heralded for his versatility beyond defense. He is also apt to play midfield and he scores a fair amount of goals. However, look for him to play mostly defense in his first World Cup appearance.
Benedikt Howedes (Defender) from Schalke: After a serious car accident, the star center back is back in training as of 5/28. The 26-year-old has been captain of his Schalke team and a member of the German national team for three years.
Mats Hummels (Defender) from Dortmund: Regarded as Germany’s finest defender, Hummels is going to be key in Germany’s world-famous defense. Beyond his athleticism, Hummels’ ability to interrupt offense is a major concern for Germany’s opponents. This will be Hummels first World Cup appearance.
Philipp Lahm (Defender) from Bayern Munich: Captain of the national team since 2009, Philipp Lahm is no stranger to the World Cup. Lahm is one of the best full backs of this generation and will be one of only five members playing his third World Cup this year. Look for him to be ever present in Germany’s defense.
Per Mertesacker (Defender) from Arsenal: A crucial part in Arsenal’s recent FA Championship, Mertesacker is a giant on the defensive end (literally, a 6’ 7” giant). Although he isn’t the fastest player on the field, he is strong, plays entire games, and hardly ever gets booked. He is also one of the most accurate passers in the Premiere League. This will be Mertesacker’s second World Cup appearance.
Julian Draxler (Midfield) from Schalke: Recently covered by the Guardian as one of the top ten most promising European players, Draxler is the youngest player for Germany’s World Cup squad at 20 years old. Draxler was just in a car accident with national teammate Benedikt Howedes, but both are expected to play in June.
Mario Gotze (Midfield) from Bayern Munich: Gotze’s stardom arrived the same exact way he plays: with lightning speed. At only 21 years old, Gotze is the second-most expensive German player in the world. Look for him to score many of Germany’s goals.
Christoph Kramer (Midfield) from Borussia Monchengladbach: Kramer is a solid midfielder, known for covering lots of ground on the field. Though the 23 year-old is unlikely to start in his World Cup debut, he’ll be relied upon for fresh legs when some the injured players need to rest.
Sami Khedira (Midfield) from Real Madrid: A few weeks ago, this La Liga star became only the fourth German player to win a Champions League title with a non-German team (Real Madrid). Khedira is well known for his athleticism in both offensive attacks and defensive presence. This will be Khedira’s second World Cup appearance.
Toni Kroos (Midfield) from Bayern Munich: Entering his second World Cup at only 24-years-old, Kroos has established himself as the complete package for the attacking midfielder position.
Matthias Ginter (Midfield) from Freiburg: Ginter is another young, rising star as he enters his first World Cup at only 20 years old.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (Midfield) from Bayern Munich: Voted as the 2013 German player of the year award, Schweinsteiger has been a necessity for the German national team for almost a decade. Schweinsteiger is making his third World Cup appearance this year. Look for him to show off some of the trickiest dribbling moves the sport can offer.
Mesut Ozil (Midfield) from Arsenal: Although he faced some injuries during his first year with Arsenal, Ozil’s impact was felt whenever he played. Ozil ended the 2014 qualification campaign as Germany’s top scorer. Look for similar results during his second World Cup appearance.
Thomas Muller (Attacker) from Bayern Munich: Muller rose to stardom in 2010 through his consistent play that led to his participating in World Cup 2010, where he was the tournament’s top scorer (five goals and three assists in six games). He was named the Best Young Player of the tournament and he won the Golden Boot. Look for Muller to be just as instrumental in this year’s campaign.
Lukas Podolski (Attacker) from Arsenal: The Polish-born attacker is one of three German national team players that contributed to Arsenal’s recent FA Championship. Podolski will be playing in his third World Cup tournament this year and will be a huge weapon for Germany’s offense (as usual).
Marco Reus (Attacker) from Dortmund: Reus is dangerous from any angle, as he can control the ball and score just as easily with either foot. Bloomberg rated Reus the fourth best player in Europe after Messi, Ronaldo and Ribery. Look for him to make a huge difference for Germany’s offensive play in his first World Cup.
Andre Schurrle (Attacker) from Chelsea: The Chelsea star is known for creating shots as a second striker. Look for him to provide firepower and increase the game’s pace when he comes off the bench.
Miroslav Klose (Attacker) from Lazio: This international star will be the only German player entering his fourth World Cup campaign. From his 2002, 2006 and 2010 appearances, Klose has 14 World Cup goals. This number is only one shy of Ronaldo’s record of 15. Don’t be surprised if Klose ends the tournament as the highest-scoring player in World Cup history.