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World Cup

'They'll be efficient when the time comes'

Less than two weeks ahead of Germany's first match in the World Cup, coach Löw's team seems troubled by too many injured players and problems. But that's nothing new, DW's Olivia Gerstenberger says.

Once again, Germany is caught up in profuse pessimism. Only a 2:2 draw against Cameroon! The team should have shot the Africans out of the stadium 3:0, allowing for something akin to an upbeat World Cup mood. Add to that the long list of injured players - Lahm, Neuer, Schweinsteiger, Klose sat out the game and Khedira didn't exhaust his potential, either. Özil was a disaster. Add to that the rainy training camp and the serious accident during a sponsored event.

Let's face it: if things continue in that vein, the title is out of reach and the German squad won't even survive the round of sixteen.

Not even close, dear doomsayers!

What would have happened if the wonderful German flurry of strikes in the first minute of the game had led to a goal, if Özil, that sensitive, brilliant player with skills like a wizard, had seized his opportunity? The "indomitable lions" probably would never have entered the game. The match would have ended with a good result. But now, everyone's all shaken up. "That keeps us focussed," Thomas Müller said.

Again, national coach Joachim Löw has gained some important insight, not just concerning the players' positions, but also concerning the opponent - it's assumed that Ghana, Germany's opponent in the preliminary round, will play with as much physical dedication as Cameroon. We have to counter that. And we can work on it.

'The nation's calf' in 2006

There have always been bad news and poor results ahead of the tournament in the World Cup history. Just think of captain Michael Ballack and his injured calf in the 2006 World Cup - that turned into a "fairytale" German event - or Ballack's injury in 2010. Back then, Sami Khedira's star began to rise and Thomas Müller became top scorer.

Who knows who will surprise us this time? There are quite a few new faces in the team.

Löw also didn't send home Neuer, Lahm and Khedira, but the young hopefuls, Mustafi and Volland. Löw settled on only one real striker, Klose, but his system provides for a rather modern line-up anyway, with a "false nine." Schmelzer, who is also not going to Brazil, seems to have lost out against whiz kid Erik Durm, possibly also because he failed to recover from an injury.

So, after speaking to the medical team and the players themselves, Löw expects the nominated players to be fit by June 16. The final squad of 23 includes world class players many nations would give their hind teeth for. If Germany isn't a favorite with this World Cup squad - which players does it take?

They'll be efficient when the time comes. Friendlies are only ever friendlies. The shots that missed in the game against Cameroon and hit the post, will find their way into the goal.

"We know what we're capable of," Müller said again after the final whistle. We should trust him. When the semifinals come around, at the very latest, faith in our team will have returned. Do you want to bet?

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