The German national coach, Joachim Loew, recently announced his 30-man provisional squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, prompting discussion by analysts, such as Max Meyer. There is a great deal of talk around the German team, as they are considered one of the serious contenders to win this year’s tournament. The FIFA World Cup, set to begin on Thursday, June 12, will see the greatest players from around the world competing for the ultimate international football trophy, and the German national squad will undoubtedly be looking to take the trophy home from Brazil, following their semi-final loss to Spain four years ago in South Africa. Furthermore, despite the fact that Loew must still cut seven players before the tournament, some pundits have commented that this year’s German national squad is the deepest and most talented in recent memory.
Perhaps the only position where this is not true is at striker, where Germany does not have an over-abundance of talent. This situation was exacerbated by the fact that 33-year-old Mario Gomez was left off the provisional squad, despite the fact that he has scored 25 goals in 59 games for Germany over the course of his international career. This omission leaves Miroslav Klose as one of, if not the only, true striker on the German national squad leading up to the FIFA World Cup. Furthermore, at the age of 35, Klose is unlikely to play in every game this summer, leaving an opening for a younger player to step in and pick up the slack. This player could very well be Kevin Volland, a 21-year-old striker who netted an impressive 11 goals this past Bundesliga season.
Perhaps the most important, and surprising, addition made by Loew in his announcement of the German squad for the coming FIFA World Cup is 18-year-old Max Meyer. Loew spoke highly of Meyer in an interview with Sky Sports, saying that he was very technically gifted, and that he had a bright future in the sport, making it possible that the youngster will manage to sneak into the final 23. However, unfortunately for Meyer, Germany’s midfield heading into the FIFA World Cup is positively stuffed with quality players, including big names such as Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus, and Mario Gotze. Toni Kroos will also be eager to atone for his lacklustre performance against Italy in the 2012 European Championships, meaning that Meyer has his work cut out for him if he hopes to represent his country in Brazil.
As per usual, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund made the largest contributions to the provisional squad, with seven and five players from the respective clubs making it to the penultimate stage in the selection process. These German superstars will face stiff competition from their Brazilian hosts, who have included young stars Neymar and Bernard in their provisional squad, but will also have to worry about the Americans. The United States, who will join Germany in Group G, will look to 23-year-old Terrence Boyd to provide an offensive spark, and hopefully propel the American side through a gruelling group, which also includes Ghana and Portugal. All in all, it must be said that the announcement by Germany of its provisional squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is important, although the decisions made by Joachim Loew and his staff cannot be properly evaluated until after the conclusion of the tournament itself.
By Nicholas Grabe