The 2014 world champions, Germany, are considered favourites for the 2022 World Cup. After all, the German team has finished in the top three more often than any other nation. They have been world champions, runners-up and third four times each – and often without being able to convince in terms of play or having outstanding players in their ranks.
The German team often cheated its way through the group stage and held its nerve in the decisive knockout phase. One exception was the 2018 World Cup tournament in Russia, where the team fared similarly to other defending champions in previous years: they fell far short of their own expectations and were eliminated in the preliminary round after losing to Mexico and South Korea.
The qualification route
Alongside hosts Qatar, Germany became the first team to qualify for the World Cup after beating Romania, Iceland, North Macedonia, Armenia and Liechtenstein in the qualifying phase. Germany won 9 of their 10 matches and only lost their home match against North Macedonia 1-2.
There are many prominent names in European football in the team of national coach Hansi Flick, but you won’t find an outstanding star player among them like in many other teams. The main pillars of the team are the reliable goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from FC Bayern Munich, his team-mate Joshua Kimmich and the England legionnaires Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) and Kai Havertz (FC Chelsea). With Florian Wirtz of Bayer Leverkusen, a hopeful for the 2022 tournament suffered a serious injury earlier this year and his participation is still uncertain.
Hansi Flick became the new coach of the German national team in mid-2021. He replaced the long-time coach Jogi Löw. Flick, however, knows the national team well – he was Löw’s assistant at the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. The former Bundesliga professional (Bayern, Cologne) then became sports director at the DFB. In a roundabout way, the Heidelberg native then landed the coaching post at FC Bayern, which he led to two championships and winning the Champions League. His preferred playing system is 4-2-3-1.
Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München) – Thilo Kehrer (Paris St.Germain), Antonio Rüdiger (FC Chelsea), Niklas Süle (from July: Borussia Dortmund), David Raum (Hoffenheim 1899) – Joshua Kimmich (FC Bayern München), Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City) – Serge Gnabry (FC Bayern München), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München), Leroy Sané (FC Bayern München) – Kai Havertz (FC Chelsea)
World Cup 2022
Germany were not seeded in pot 1 for the first time since 1966. In Group E they will now face teams from Spain, Japan and the winner of the play-off Costa Rica against New Zealand.
The German team should have learned their lessons from their poor 2018 performance. A win against both Japan and Costa Rica/New Zealand is a must. In the match against Spain, however, the German team is in the underdog role. In recent years, Germany has struggled against Spain. However, a point win is not out of the question. Nevertheless, Spain is the clear favourite to win the group. The odds for Germany to win the group are 2.20, but seem rather low due to the expected Spanish dominance.
Depending on their position in the standings, the first or second-placed team in Group F, possibly Belgium or Croatia, will be waiting in the round of 16. In this case, experience and consistency speak in favour of the German team, but the form of the day will be decisive.
But can the German national team also become world champions and repeat their success of 2014?
The bookmakers rate them as the sixth-best team with odds of around 12.00.
The world’s top teams have moved very close together, important games are decided by small details. In any case, Flick has brought a breath of fresh air into a team that had been very lethargic and uncreative for a long time under Löw. Although the team is well-staffed in all positions, it lacks an absolute top player. Much depends on the match in the round of 16, where Germany will certainly face a very strong opponent, be it Belgium or Croatia.
However, should the team qualify for the quarter-finals, basically anything is possible. Even another world championship title.
Other teams in Group E: