Group G Preview, Germany, Portugal, Ghana and USA

Touted by many as the alternate ‘Group of Death’ to Group D, which consists of Uruguay, Italy and England, Group G will be among the most fiercely contested groups in the early stages of the World Cup. Consisting of Germany, Portugal, Ghana and the USA, Group G will be among the ones to watch out for in terms of competition.

Among the teams in the group, only Germany have tasted FIFA World Cup success; on three occasions. Portugal have always flattered to deceive, Ghana have emerged on the football map only recently, while the USA have never really threatened the big boys of world football.

Group G Schedule
Match # Date Match Time Venue
13 16th June 2014 Germany vs Portugal 17:00 Arena Fonta Nova, Salvador
14 16th June 2014 Ghana vs USA 23:00 Arena das Dunas, Natal
29 22nd June 2014 Germany vs Ghana 20:00 Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza
30 22nd June 2014 USA vs Portugal 23:00 Arena Amazônia, Manaus
45 26th June 2014 USA vs Germany 17:00 Arena Pernambuco, Recife
46 26th June 2014 Portugal vs Ghana 17:00 Estadio Nacional, Brasilia

Venues

The matches of Group G will be held at 6 different venues.

 Arena Pernambuco, Recife

Estadio Castelao, at Forteleza is at mean sea level but the temperatures there peak up to 32 degrees celsius. Coupled with that are the nearby coasts, therefore we could expect potential rains and strong winds.

Arena Pernambuco, in Recife is a dangerous arena with the city averaging 224 days of rain a year, and the months of June and July being the wettest. The humidity in this region is high during these months, which will make the players’ job very tough, and bodies will have to be in perfect shape.

Arena Amazonia in Manaus follows suit with wet conditions and a 40% chance of thunderstorms and expected humidity up to 80 %. Located in the Amazon Rainforest region, Manaus is far away from most teams’ bases for the World Cup, and the travel and humidity are bound to sap the energy out of the players.

Estadio das Dunas, in Natal is the most punishing arena with an average humidity of 97% in the middle of June. This could result in a lot of tiring and frequent drink breaks, with Ghana and USA upon whom this arena is thrust.

Estadio Nacional in Brasiilia will be among the more comfortable stadiums to play in, especially for the European teams. Mean temoeratures in June ar around 27-29 degrees celsius, but humidity levels could be a concern. In late June, when Group G’s Brasilia match is scheduled to be held, humidity levels average in excess of 90%. Therefore again, tiring and frequent breaks can be expected.

Arena Fonta Nova in Salvador is a typical Brazilian venue, with temperatures averaging around 29 degrees celsius, and humidity levels ranging from 75-85%, on an average, in June. With two Europen sides playing in Salvador, Germany and Portugal could have a tough time, especially with that match being both teams’ first in the tournament.

 

Teams

Germany

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Being the recent underachievers of international football, Germany have failed to halt Spain’s dominance despite being rated as one of the strongest teams in the world. Losing 1-0 in the Euro 2008 final and in the 2010 semi-final of the World Cup to eventual champions Spain, the German squad, symbolic of efficiency, has been consistently halted by the European juggernaut.

Coach Joachim Loew’s squad cruised in their qualification, remaining undefeated and scoring 36 goals in 10 games. Regardless of the onslaught, the German fans are pessimistic about Die Nationalmannschaft’s chances, as the team’s recent endeavours have failed to live up to expectations. But qualifying for the knockout stage is almost inevitable, despite being in a difficult group.

They have among the most balanced squads in the tournament, with a perfect blend of youth and experience, and how Joechim Loew handles the squad will decide how they perform in the tournament. The injury to Marco Reus will no doubt weaken the Germans, but if there in one team in the tournament capable of handling the no-show of player of the calibre of Reus, it is  Die Mannschaft.  Loew’s squad is a mix of extremely talented youngsters and some big-names who have what it takes to shine in the penultimate stage of the tournament. Germany’s record scorer, Miroslav Klose, has also been included to support striker Lukas Podolski.

FIFA Ranking: 2

Key Player : Julian Draxler

For more information, read Germany Team Preview

Portugal

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Paulo Bento’s Portugal had to go through an immense struggle to reach Brazil as a two-legged playoff against Sweden could have gone either way, if it wasn’t for star player Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored four goals in the two games.

Captain and record scorer Ronaldo will be the obvious player under the spotlight, as the Ballon d’Or winning Real Madrid superstar is expected to carry the weight of his country on his back. Ronaldo will be looking at the Argentina squad of 1986 for inspiration, which was led to triumph singlehandedly by Diego Maradona, to guide his team in similar fashion to their first World Cup.

Other key players for Portugal include Real Madrid’s Pepe and the midfield duo of Raul Meireles and Joao Moutinho.

FIFA Ranking: 4

Key Player : Cristiano Ronaldo

For more information, read Portugal Team Preview.

 

United States of America

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The Americans have achieved their best performance of the World Cup when they finished third in the tournament’s first edition in 1930. Qualifying for every World Cup since 1990, Jurgen Klinsmann leads a buoyant USMNT to Brazil and faces the daunting prospect of facing his own nation and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The US will do extremely well to get out of the group stage, and their hopes will rest on the likes of Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey in the absence of long time star Landon Donovan. In defense, Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron and Everton Goalkeeper Tim Howard will have huge roles to play.

FIFA Ranking: 13

Key Player : Landon Donovan

For more information, read USA Team Preview

 

Ghana

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“The Black Stars” have been Africa’s sole light in the last two editions of the FIFA World Cup. They were denied in 2006 by the brilliance of Brazil in the Round of 16, while they went one better in 2010, when they were cruelly denied by the Hand of Luis Suarez, and a missed penalty by Asamoah Gyan that followed. Pitted against two European powerhouses, the four-time African Cup of Nations winners can consider it an achievement to even reach the knockout stage of the tournament. Ghana’s performances in the Africa Cup of Nations have been below par, and they will hope for a strong showing in Brazil.

Ghana are in relatively good form, winning five of their six matches in qualifiers and being the top scorers from Africa with 25 goals. The experienced team will welcome back AC Milan holding midfielder Michael Essien, who will be crucial for the team’s success. Kevin-Prince Boateng will play the vital role of carrying his team in an extremely difficult group. The former Tottenham Hostpurs man has been involved in controversies, but the flair he brings on the pitch makes him the exciting player he is.

FIFA Ranking: 37

Key Player : Asamoah Gyan

For more information, read Ghana Team Preview

Key Matches

Germany vs Portugal

This is a game that could well decide who tops the group. WIth Portugal likely to receive a boost with Ronaldo’s return from injury and Germany receiving a blow with Reus’ injury, the teams start on a slightly even field. Especially with it being the first game of the tournament for both sides, it might be a dull, cagey affair. But that is not how Loew sets his teams out. So one can only hope for an open, free-flowing game of attacking football.

Portugal vs Ghana

The last game in this group. One would expect that, by this time, Germany would have wrapped up top spot in the group. So, this game might well be a virtual knockout game, with the loser bowing out of the tournament.

 

Predictions

One would expect Germany to top this group, by winning all their three games, and I tip Portugal to pip Ghana to the second qualifiction spot. So, even though, this is an alternate ‘Group of Death’, I expect the results to be pretty straight-forward, with the fancied teams progressing to the next round.

Group G Predictions
Team Position Country Points
1 Germany 9
2 Portugal 6
3 Ghana 3
4 USA 0

Summary

Group G can produce some cracking encounters as four well-equipped squads will battle it out to reach the knockout stage. But there is a realistic prediction that can be made on who is most likely to qualify. Germany will definitely be the favourites, followed closely by the Ronaldo-led Portugal.

Ghana and the US both have commendable squads of experienced players and a history of recently successful campaigns in the World Cup backing them to cause an upset against the two European giants, but only time will tell if they can shock the football world.

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Ghana Team Preview

The Players

Stephen Adams goalkeeper, Aduana Stars

Samuel Inkoom defender, Platanias

Asamoah Gyan (captain) forward, Al-Ain

Daniel Opare defender, Standard Liège

Michael Essien midfielder, Milan

Afriyie Acquah midfielder, Parma

Christian Atsu midfielder, Vitesse

Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu midfielder, Udinese

Kevin-Prince Boateng forward, Schalke

10 André Ayew midfielder, Marseille

11 Sulley Muntari midfielder, Milan

12 Adam Kwarasey goalkeeper, Stromsgodset

13 Jordan Ayew forward, Sochaux

14 Albert Adomah midfielder, Middlesbrough

15 Rashid Sumaila defender, Mamelodi Sundowns

16 Fatau Dauda goalkeeper, Orlando Pirates

17 Mohammed Rabiu midfielder, Kuban Krasnodar

18 Majeed Waris forward, Valenciennes

19 Jonathan Mensah defender, Évian

20 Kwadwo Asamoah midfielder, Juventus

21 John Boye defender, Rennes

22 Mubarak Wakaso midfielder, Rubin Kazan

23 Harrison Afful defender, Espérance

Star man

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Asamoah Gyan. Has been a revelation since returning to international football last year and taking over the national captaincy.

Most likely to be sent home in disgrace

Kevin Prince-Boateng. The man who has a private jet, 15 tattoos and a poor injury record caused, according to his fiancee, by the couple’s nocturnal workouts, seems to have mellowed since moving to Schalke from Milan.

The coach

Kwesi Appiah is the first black African coach to take Ghana to the World Cup, and spent a week at Manchester City studying Roberto Mancini earlier this year.

Grudge match

The bitter memories of that quarter-final in Johannesburg are still raw so seeing Uruguay placed in the opposite half of the draw was a national disappointment. Only a run to the semi-finals could set up a reunion with Señor Suárez and co, while any meeting with Nigeria in the knockout stages is likely to see the resumption of an on-off rivalry that has simmered for years.

Holed up

New changing rooms, relaid pitches and a special plan to ensure they never get stuck in traffic are just some of the schemes made by the local government since Ghana plumped to stay at the Radisson Hotel in Maceió. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning coral reefs, widespread drug abuse and casual violence – it is considered the third most violent city in the world.

How they qualified
Top scorers in qualifying, making light work of their preliminary group and then demolishing Egypt 7-3 over two legs.

World Cup high
Reaching the quarter-final in 2010 on only their second appearance in the competition.

World Cup low
Being eliminated from the tournament thanks to a grinning Luis Suarez and his goal-line handball.

Familiar faces
Michael Essien (Chelsea), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).

Title odds: 150/1

The stereotype is …
Expressive, crowd-pleasing football with a nice line in dance celebrations.

The reality is …
A cautious style, based on a powerful midfield, a rock-solid defence and playing on the counter-attack. Ghana’s progression to the verge of the semi-finals in South Africa four years ago was built on a flexible 4-2-3-1 formation that used Gyan at the fulcrum of the attack. Not much has changed under Appiah, with Prince-Boateng back in the fold to provide the link from midfield. The versatility of Kwadwo Asamoah of Juventus is key to the Black Stars’ approach, with Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien and André Ayew or Mubarak Wakaso completing an experienced midfield.

What are they known for?
Booming second-world economy 46 per cent
People called Boateng 30 per cent
Gold 20 per cent
Kofi Annan 4 per cent

How Google translates the national anthem
God bless our homeland Ghana, And make our nation great and strong, Bold to defend forever The cause of Freedom and of Right;

Duration
Around two minutes, if all three verses are sung.

How to dress like their fans

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Lots and lots of paint. Face paint, body paint, hair paint. As a rule of thumb, if your friends can still recognise you, apply more paint.

Commentator’s go-to stat
One of the country’s major motorways is named after George W Bush. It’s well-kept, but sometimes it gets its junctions mixed up.

USA Team Preview

The Players

Tim Howard goalkeeper, Everton

DeAndre Yedlin defender, Seattle Sounders

Omar Gonzalez defender, Los Angeles Galaxy

Michael Bradley midfielder, Toronto

Matt Besler defender, Sporting Kansas City

John Brooks defender, Hertha Berlin

DaMarcus Beasley defender, Puebla

Clint Dempsey (captain) forward, Seattle Sounders

Aron Jóhannsson forward, AZ Alkmaar

10 Mikkel Diskerud midfielder, Rosenborg

11 Alejandro Bedoya midfielder, Nantes

12 Brad Guzan goalkeeper, Aston Villa

13 Jermaine Jones midfielder, Besiktas

14 Brad Davis midfielder, Houston Dynamo

15 Kyle Beckerman midfielder, Real Salt Lake

16 Julian Green midfielder, Bayern Munich

17 Jozy Altidore forward, Sunderland

18 Chris Wondolowski forward, San Jose Earthquakes

19 Graham Zusi midfielder, Sporting Kansas City

20 Geoff Cameron defender, Stoke City

21 Timothy Chandler defender, Nürnberg

22 Nick Rimando goalkeeper, Real Salt Lake

23 Fabian Johnson defender, 1899 Hoffenheim

Star man

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Landon Donovan has scored 57 international goals in 154 appearances and will only be 32 when the tournament kicks off. Klinsmann has given him new life, liberty and signposted the way for the pursuit of happiness with a more central role to exploit his intelligent passing and cold-blooded finishing.

Most likely to be sent home in disgrace

Frankfurt-born Jermaine Jones is leader of the squad’s German clique. Heavily tattooed and with a playboy lifestyle, the feisty midfielder has traded blows with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar at former club Schalke, where he was exiled to train with the reserves by the manager Felix Magath.

The coach

A World Cup-winner as a player in 1990, Jürgen Klinsmann took Germany to the semi-finals on home soil in 2006 before a strange interlude as Bayern Munich manager. More a CEO than a tracksuit coach, he is big on management speak and PowerPoint presentations.

Grudge match

Mexico are the perennial regional rivals – USA fans like to chant “Dos a cero” after a string of recent scorelines. But this summer could also provide the Great Satan’s footballers with the opportunity to make a vague geopolitical point about nuclear non-proliferation or something – or more pointedly seek revenge for their 2-1 defeat at France 98 to Iran.

Holed up

The Americans will be based at São Paulo FC’s state-of-the-art Barra Funda complex and adjacent five-star hotel. The players had a training camp there in January and if they need inspiration to strut their stuff, they can look to Barra Funda’s resident flock of peacocks.

How they qualified
At the top of the fourth-round group with a four-point cushion over Costa Rica. They won all five home games but lost in San Jose and Honduras.

World Cup high
Semi-finalists at the inaugural tournament in 1930, though it took only two wins to get there before Argentina took them apart 6-1. Proving one man’s nadir is another’s apogee, the 1950 victory over England remains a stunning achievement.

World Cup low
Versus Iran in 1998, the second of three group defeats, which led to much hilarity and schadenfreude given the 20 years of diplomatic tension that preceded it.

Familiar faces
Tim Howard (Everton), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa).

Title odds: 125/1

The stereotype is … 
Ten-fresh faced college boys with retina-scorching teeth and one hairy hippie play efficient boredom-ball with the emphasis on work-rate, set pieces, logic and good old native lack of pretension.

The reality is … 
Proficient counter-attacking team with a solid keeper who seem perennially unable to break through to the elite, particularly in this incarnation because they are prone to defensive lapses.  The USA are a hardworking, competitive team at their most dangerous on the counterattack. Far from being johnny-come-latelies to the soccerball business, the USA were semi-finalists at the first World Cup in 1930 and have qualified eight times since and finished first in qualifying. They line up in a 4-2-3-1, with Bradley and Jones as the defensive midfielders, although the latter can be pushed on to aid the attack. The defence have a new look but the team cannot now count on the vastly experienced Landon Donovan up front after he was dropped. Recently repatriated Dempsey, late of Fulham and Spurs, is the main source of goals, perhaps unsurprisingly given that the first-choice striker is Altidore.

What they’re known for?
Kardashians 36 per cent
Syrupy bacon 17 per cent
Cheese that tastes of despair 29 per cent
Khaki trousers 18 per cent

How Google translates the national anthem
Into Latin: ubi nunc isti sent, tam superbo veto, furiali pugna territos et claymore, esse nos cum terra

Duration
Two minutes and 49 seconds for the extended 12 inch remix.

How to dress like their fans

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Hen party red stetson, stars, stripes, Uncle Sam costumes, khaki “pants” and tears to profess love of the “Ewe Ess Ay, Ewe Ess Ay, Ewe Ess Ay”.

Commentator’s go-to stat
The average American child will eat 1,500 peanut butter and jam sandwiches before he or she graduates from high school.

Portugal Team Preview

The Players

Eduardo goalkeeper, Braga

Bruno Alves defender, Fenerbahçe

Pepe defenderReal Madrid

Miguel Veloso midfielder, Dynamo Kyiv

Fábio Coentrão defender, Real Madrid

William Carvalho midfielder, Sporting

Cristiano Ronaldo (captain) forward, Real Madrid

João Moutinho midfielder, Monaco

Hugo Almeida forward, Besiktas

10 Vieirinha midfielder, Wolfsburg

11 Éder forward, Braga

12 Rui Patrício goalkeeper, Sporting

13 Ricardo Costa defender, Valencia

14 Luís Neto defender, Zenit Saint Petersburg

15 Rafa Silva midfielder, Braga

16 Raul Meireles midfielder, Fenerbahce

17 Nani midfielder, Manchester United

18 Silvestre Varela midfielder, Porto

19 André Almeida defender, Benfica

20 Rúben Amorim midfielder, Benfica

21 João Pereira defender, Valencia

22 Beto goalkeeper, Sevilla

23 Hélder Postiga forward, Lazio

Star man

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Cristiano Ronaldo will carry the weight of a nation’s expectations on his shoulders, plus a Louis Vuitton man-bag packed with an astonishing quantity of hair gel. His brilliant second-leg hat-trick made the difference for Portugal in their play-off against Sweden

Most likely to be sent home in disgrace
Real Madrid centre-half Pepe was banned for 10 games in 2009 for kicking a Getafe player who had fallen to the floor twice and slapping another. Three years later he walked into a referee’s dressing room after a 1-1 draw with Villarreal and called him a “swindling motherf—–“.

The coach

With his silver-flecked hair and Portugueseness, Paulo Bento is an ersatz José Mourinho, albeit without the same glint in the eye. He impressed by leading Portugal to the last four at Euro 2012, but qualification for the World Cup was more of a struggle.

Grudge match

The Battle of Nuremberg in 2006 has lost none of its entertainment value in the past eight years. Portugal might have beaten Holland 1-0 to reach the last eight in 2006 but this was more of a brawl in a city centre on a Saturday night than a football match, with both sides having two men sent off and the referee, Valentin Ivanov, having to show 16 yellow cards. Sixteen!

Holed up

Owned by 82-year-old Portuguese-born biscuit baron Armindo Dias, The Palms is the exclusive – that’s just 116 rooms – boutique hotel hidden in a corner of a massive resort. Not only have they forced all staff to sign contracts banning them from requesting autographs, there are reports of special treatment being offered to one CR9: his own VIP suite complete with scented pillows, chamomile and caramel are a popular choice, six bodyguards and heated mirrors that do not steam up.

How they qualified
Defeat in Moscow and draws with Israel, twice, and Northern Ireland left them with a tough play-off tie against Sweden, which almost went topsy-turvy in Stockholm until Cristiano Ronaldo in dazzling style scored twice in two minutes to complete his hat-trick and drag them through, clinging to his coat-tails.

World Cup high
Third in 1966, with Eusebio, the darling of Goodison Park, winning the golden boot with nine goals, his eighth coming in the semi-final defeat b yEngland and, specifically, Bobby Charlton.

World Cup low
Beat England in their first group game in Mexico in 1986 only then to lose to both Poland and Morocco and the ‘golden generation’ were dumped out in 2002 by co-hosts South Korea and their Beatlemania-revival, screeching fans.

Familiar faces
Nani (Manchester United) and his former-team-mate/global-brand, CR7.

Title odds
25-1

The stereotype is …
One-man band, Ronaldo single-handedly driving his extravagantly-tattooed team-mates through a combination of individual brilliance, cajoling by example and grandiose petulance.

The reality is … 
Surprisingly vulnerable at the back given their pedigree and Bento’s tastes as a club coach and player but capable of swift, fluid counter-attacking waves all in service of Ronaldo, who is more conductor and principal soloist than entire orchestra.

What they’re known for?
Port 27 per cent
Narcissistic managers 41 per cent
Shellfish detritus in soup 13 per cent
Hello! features at home with Sir Cliff Richard 19 per cent

How Google translates the national anthem
Kiss the soil thy jocund, the ocean roaring of love, and your arm, the winner, gave new worlds to the world.

Duration
Long enough at 1min 22sec to let Brazil fans put their hands on hips and sigh “so you discovered us did you?”

How to dress like their fans

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Red, green or gold vests, Glastonbury-style jester’s hats and acres of cotton wool to drown out the sound of the weapon with the bass drum.

Commentator’s go-to fact
After Manoel II, Portugal’s last king, was deposed in 1910, he lived in exile in Twickenham and although he died at the age of 42 he was godfather to more than 300 children.

Germany Team Preview

The Players

Manuel Neuer goalkeeper, Bayern Munich

Kevin Grosskreutz defender, Borussia Dortmund

Matthias Ginter midfielder, Freiburg

Benedikt Höwedes defender, Schalke

Mats Hummels defender, Borussia Dortmund

Sami Khedira midfielder, Real Madrid

Bastian Schweinsteiger midfielder, Bayern Munich

Mesut Özil midfielder, Arsenal

André Schürrle midfielder, Chelsea

10 Lukas Podolski midfielder, Arsenal

11 Miroslav Klose forward, Lazio

12 Ron-Robert Zieler goalkeeper, Hannover

13 Thomas Müller midfielder, Bayern Munich

14 Julian Draxler midfielder, Schalke

15 Erik Durm defender, Borussia Dortmund

16 Philipp Lahm (captain) defender, Bayern Munich

17 Per Mertesacker defender, Arsenal

18 Toni Kroos midfielder, Bayern Munich

19 Mario Götze midfielder, Bayern Munich

20 Jérôme Boateng defender, Bayern Munich

21 Shkodran Mustafi defender, Sampdoria

22 Roman Weidenfeller goalkeeper, Borussia Dortmund

23 Christoph Kramer midfielder, Borussia Mönchengladbach

Star man

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Julian Draxler. Arsenal are one of the many teams keeping an eye on the attacking midfielder, currently enjoying a fine season with Schalke.

Most likely to be sent home in disgrace
Sami Khedira’s occasional tendency to “tell it like it is” in interviews may land him in hot water one day.

The coach

Joachim Low is well-liked, but unless he wins something with the riches at his disposal, the temptation to replace him with Jurgen Klopp will remain.

Grudge match

Only Italy (19) have featured in more World Cups than (West) Germany (17)but meetings with Holland used to bring out the worst in both teams –you’ll recall Frank Rijkaard applying the wrong kind of hair conditioner to Rudi Völler’s mullet in 1990 – but relations have become more cordial now that Germany are playing beautiful, unsuccessful football. Italy are the No1 angstgegner (bogey team), having never been beaten in a major tournament.

Holed up

Campo Bahia, in the eastern province of the same name, is a luxury beach resort completed in April by constructors from Munich. It’s designed to be “optimal” for the team – “the whole place has been laid out so as to foster a team spirit,” says the man in charge – with a German agronomist flown in to look after the training pitches.

How they qualified
Ominously. Played ten, won nine, and even the one they didn’t was a thrilling 4-4 draw with Sweden.

World Cup high
Won it three times, in 1954, 1974 and 1990, but none since the mullet was in fashion.

World Cup low
Not being invited to compete in the 1950 World Cup, reportedly because of the naughty stuff they did in the war.

Familiar faces
Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), André Schürrle (Chelsea), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal).

Title odds: 5/1

The stereotype is …
Dull and joyless, and yet consistently punch above their weight at major tournaments.

The reality is …
An unbelievably gifted squad who have arguably underperformed at major tournaments of late. Swift, deadly and yet fairly beatable. Germany play an aesthetically pleasing but slightly fragile 4-2-3-1 that comes with a Barcelona button: Löw can switch veteran striker Miroslav Klose for a false nine (Mario Götze) if need be. No Germany team have had this many fine attacking midfielders and wide players at their disposal, but there is also lot of good, old-fashioned angst around the left-back spot and central midfield, where key players are either out of form (Bastian Schweinsteiger), just back from injury (Sami Khedira) or ruled out entirely (Ilkay Gündogan).

What are they known for?
The Best League In The World, Bar None 99 per cent
National Socialism 1 per cent

How Google translates the national anthem
German women, German loyalty, German wine and German song shall retain in the world their old sound.

Duration
Clocks in at just over a minute. The full version consists of just three verses.

How to dress like their fans

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Heidi pigtails for the ladies, sensible casual wear for the gentlemen. Rudi Voller moustache optional.

Commentator’s go-to stat
It’s 37 years since Germany lost a major penalty shoot-out. Expect Gary Lineker to whip that one out at some stage.