April 30th, 2013
03:31 PM ET

Is the Champions League a prelude to German World Cup triumph?

Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze will be playing for Bayern Munich next season. (Getty Images).
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze will be playing for Bayern Munich next season. (Getty Images).

"Almost impossible." That's how former German international striker Oliver Bierhoff described the task his country face in trying to win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

On the evidence of last week's Champions League semifinal first legs, Bierhoff is mistaken.

Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund could both capture continental glory after four-goal hauls against Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, but the big winners look set to be the German national team.

A look through the starting line ups for both Bayern and Dortmund reveals an array of young, exciting, vibrant, German talent which must have national coach Joachim Low licking his lips.

"Both German teams are very good, without a doubt, as are the national team," Real coach Jose Mourinho was quoted as saying on FIFA's website. "There is a generation of players in Germany of great quality and they will be candidates to win the next World Cup."

Bayern’s team revolves around a core of German players reaching their collective peak.

Colossal goalkeeper Manuel Neuer enjoyed a largely trouble-free evening against Barca, stationed behind a back four which included national team captain Philipp Lahm and athletic centre back Jerome Boateng.

Thomas Muller scored a brace and constantly troubled a dishevelled Barca backline, while Bastian Schweinsteiger - a veteran of 98 Germany caps at the relatively young age of 28 - expertly contained midfield opponents Xavi and Iniesta.

And all of this without Toni Kroos, the 23-year-old playmaker widely regarded as one of Europe’s most prominent rising stars.

Swelling Bayern’s fearsome ranks next season will be Mario Gotze, a $48 million man signed from Dortmund who starred alongside four-goal hero Robert Lewandowski during last week’s 4-1 rout.

Lewandowski might be Polish but Marco Reus is homegrown and, bedecked in black and yellow, resembled a wasp constantly stinging the Spanish champions.

Even the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo was nullified by the disciplined Iklay Gundogan. The 2011 signing from Nuremberg looked at home in the heart of a high-stakes midfield contest and outshone his Spanish counterpart Xabi Alonso.

Ronaldo’s only moment of joy came following a rare lapse in concentration from Mats Hummels, a young defender who is reportedly attracting admiring glances from Catalonia.

A 4-1 defeat for Madrid and a 4-0 loss for Barca would have had their Spanish stars sweating over an humiliating Champions League exit.

But perhaps the bigger question mark hangs over La Roja’s reign at the top of world football.

Two Spain-based German internationals were certainly given food for thought.

Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira were both anonymous during Madrid’s no-show at the Westfalenstadion.

Spain have ruled the international roost for the last five years, winning two European Championships and a first World Cup crown in addition to a continental title at under-21 level.

Vicente del Bosque’s team may have reigned supreme, but Germany have also enjoyed admirable consistency.

The Germans have reached three semifinals and the Euro 2008 final in the last four major tournaments.

With Low agonizing over how best to push Die Mannschaft over the finishing line, the key might just lie with some of the talent rising through the ranks.

Both Bayern and Dortmund played with an intensity and purpose which made tiki-taka look dated and pedestrian.

Euro 2012, won by Spain after an emphatic 4-0 win over Italy in the final, was a first major championship for Gotze, Rues, Hummels and Gundagon.

Two years wiser, and possibly with Champions League winner’s medal in their back pockets, the young quartet might provide the spark which fires a German World Cup triumph in Brazil.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. José Luis

    "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated", Mark V. del Bosque.

    April 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  2. Rodolfo Bressani

    Yeah! I'm also licking my lips. They remind me of those days when Germany ruled by controlling the midfield with the likes of Beckenbauer, Overath, Rummenige, Matheus, Breitner, Maier, (named in no particular order).

    April 30, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  3. JCthatsme

    Germany are a very strong team, the whole of German football is built around the national team

    April 30, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  4. flanagan

    It is true that Germany is dominating Europe's football.A few months in football is a long time.There is still enough time for the sleeping giants Brazil to wake up.Brazil always the hunted have to face every other nations, no matter their football prowess will play the match of their lives against Brazil.Best bet VIVA BRAZIL.

    April 30, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  5. B. Huss

    Oh, I wish!

    April 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Reply
  6. chewyonmedunlopvolleys

    Yeh they are lookin real good...no doubt about it.

    April 30, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  7. Sam

    The four teams to be watched in the World Cup 2014 are, Germany,
    Argentina,Holland and Brazil. Unfortunately Spain squad is a bit old
    for speed. I,m a fan of Brazil.

    May 1, 2013 at 12:32 am | Reply
  8. muziwethuh

    Reblogged this on muziwethuh.

    May 1, 2013 at 10:22 am | Reply
  9. skimboslice

    The germans can do it! i believe! enough of the spanish domination!!!!
    check out my blog www,10maestro.wordpress.com

    May 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  10. Maik

    We´ve got the players to go and win it all but you can set your clock for a massive screw-up by the coaches.
    again and again...

    May 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  11. Maik

    actually, Löw concurred with Bierhoffs utterance "impossible".
    any decent FA would have sacked them both on the spot.
    whats the point in going there with those people at the helm?

    May 2, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  12. edwin au

    i think germans will win the game 2014 absolutely without any doubt about their skills, their strategies, their courage, their cooperation, their team making.

    May 5, 2013 at 5:37 am | Reply
  13. Lepanto

    Waaaaay too early to tell. As of May 2013 the favourites are the usual suspects, Argentina, Brazil, Holland, Spain, Germany and Italy.

    May 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  14. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    Too many top quality home grown footballers in Germany at the moment. It is good news for the game. Other teams will have to put their best foot forward. All the best to fellow greats.

    May 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  15. Ms. without name

    I think the german team will win the game 2014, because you can see that the german teams are actually much better than other teams. But it become hard matches.

    May 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  16. broda GH

    the players coming up from Germany look great and good for the German national team. Even though am a fun of German football, i ll say its too early to say Germany will win the 2014 world cup although they are among the favorites.

    May 14, 2013 at 12:21 am | Reply
  17. anthony karanja

    i think spain will be among the favorites their teams may have received a beating but i think this will spur them to do better.while it is momentous that we have two cl finalists from germany, in 2008 we had two english teams this did not make england favourites to lift the 2010 world cup.People have somehow forgotten about brazil at home might surprise many teams .the lack of a favourite tag on them might turn it to their advantage no one expected the class of 2002 to win the cup but they did

    May 15, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  18. Nick Nazari

    Germany appears be the favorite and will be there in first four. No one mentioned the Netherlands, a team with some great players. England also.

    May 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  19. FF Gomes

    The world cup in Brazil will be hard. I think Germany is the favorite, but Brazil will have the fans and it has a amazing football too. I'll be there. Beach wait me!

    May 28, 2013 at 4:25 am | Reply

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