World Cup Viewer’s Guide: Germany seeks World Cup rebound after crushing Portugal
The German side looks confident about a possible World Cup revival.
The World Cup in Brazil will be Germany’s first major tournament since 2006.
It was a tournament in which Germany, led by coach Joachim Loew’s tactical acumen and the star-studded playmaker Philipp Lahm, won the European Championship in 2012 and lost to Brazil in the semi-finals that year, as well as thrashing a weak Netherlands side 3-0 in the quarter-finals.
Despite Germany’s dominance in Brazil, that is nothing compared with Germany’s World Cup performance under Loew. In 2006, during Loew’s reign at Germany, the Germans were eliminated in the group stage in France, losing 1-0 to Brazil in the second round. In the tournament under Loew, Germany was eliminated in their first group stage match in 1998, losing 1-0 to England. Also, Germany lost the first two World Cup games under Loew, a 1-1 tie to Brazil in 2006 and a 2-0 defeat to Spain in 1998.
Of the nine men that went to Brazil, seven men were in their third World Cup. The exceptions were Germany, who were the only nation to go undefeated in their first two World Cups (10-0-2) and also in their last four World Cups (5-1-2). Germany scored seven goals in their first two-game World Cup match, winning 2-0 against Colombia and then 8-1 over Argentina. They have also scored 12 goals in their last three World Cup matches, against France, Argentina, and the Netherlands. The Germans also have scored more World Cup goals than any other nation, a total of 20. Germany scored 20 World Cup goals in 1998 (six first-half goals), their other 20 World Cup goals came in 2014 (five first-half goals).
The two main weaknesses that the German side has been exposed to since Loew had been at the helm in Brazil was in defense, where Thomas Mueller, who was in charge in 2006, suffered a season-ending tear in his ankle in April, which hampered his play. He was replaced by Marco Reus, who led the team to the semi-finals that year in Korea.
Germany’s World Cup weakness has been their