The ‘Group of Death’: Germany’s Final 23
With the four nations that will comprise Group G at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil having finalized their 23-man rosters, ussoccer.com takes a quick snap shot of the teams the USA will face in the ‘Group of Death’ this summer.
The highest ranked member of the “Group of Death” at No. 2 in the FIFA World Rankings, Germany’s roster is loaded with experience and talent heading into the 2014 World Cup.
The Germans return 11 players from the 2010 edition, 10 of whom started multiple games for the squad that placed third at the last World Cup in South Africa. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer joins defender Jerome Boateng, midfielders Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos, Mesit Ozil and forward Thomas Mueller as those making their second World Cup roster. Phillip Lamb and Bastian Schweinsteiger, the captains of the 2010 World Cup team, along forward Lukas Padolski and defender Per Mertesacker are making their third appearance at the World Cup finals, having been a part of the 2006 team that also finished in third place in its home country.
Making his fourth trip to the World Cup, soon to be 36-year-old forward Miroslav Klose could make a run at Ronaldo’s World Cup record of 15 goals scored. Klose currently sits at 14, having scored five in 2002, five in 2006 and four in 2010. He is also tied with Germany legend Gerd Muller with 68 goals for the most goals scored by a German in international play.
The 2014 World Cup squad is made up of players from 10 different clubs in four countries including England, Spain and Italy, with a majority playing their professional soccer in Germany. Seven current players compete for Bayern Munich, while five represent Dortmund.
In preparation for the World Cup, Germany is in the midst of three friendlies. The Nationalmannschaft tied Poland 0-0 on May 13 and played to a 2-2 draw against Cameroon on June 1. They will conclude their warm-up friendlies against Armenia on June 6. The Germans begin World Cup play against Portugal on June 16.
The U.S. was the last international team to beat Germany, as the U.S. MNT won 4-3 in its Centennial Celebration match on June 2, 2013. Six players on the current German roster appeared in that game. The two sides will meet in the third game for each team in Group G play at this summer’s World Cup on June 26 in Recife.
Germany Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover)
DEFENDERS: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Erik Durm (Dortmund), Kevin Grosskreutz (Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal)
MIDFIELDERS: Julian Draxler (Schalke), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Mario Gotz (Bayern Munich), Cristoph Kramer (Borussia Moncherngladbach), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
FORWARDS: Miroslav Klose (Lazio), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea)