Low faces up to world cup title pressure

Low faces up to World Cup title pressure

For many fans and experts, one thing is certain: despite his recently extended contract, next summer’s world cup will be the final attempt to win a title for joachim low as national team coach.

The national coach knows that the entire nation is longing to win a major trophy again in brazil in 2014 after 18 years. "Of course it’s our goal to achieve the maximum there. We will prepare ourselves like world champions. I also think that we are among the favorites because of the last four years. We are facing up to this task and we are facing up to this pressure," low said at the end of 2013.

"We’ve taken another step forward," said the DFB head coach, who has extended his contract with the german soccer federation until the 2016 european championships in france, on the previous year’s world cup record. "It went well, some players have developed further, some we were able to integrate," low emphasized.

There have, of course, also been setbacks due to injuries. Schweinsteiger, gundogan, khedira listed low in particular. "I think we’ve been able to compensate for that quite well so far. But of course, we will definitely need these players in 2014. We also need miroslav klose and mario gomez to be in top form," added the 53-year-old. Above all, the cruciate ligament injury to real madrid star sami khedira, which could mean his world cup exit, is bitter.

Nine of the twelve international matches in 2014 were won, the direct ticket for brazil was booked in the qualification with ease. Two games this year ended in draws and only one was lost away from home in a 4-3 defeat to the u.S. Coached by former national team coach jurgen klinsmann – albeit with a B-team.

There will be a reunion with klinsmann in brazil. Whose US boys are, along with portugal and ghana, the german team’s opponents in the preliminary rounds. "We are all now going about the work of the next few months with great motivation. Because we can see that the development of this team is not over yet," said low.

The national coach used a total of 35 players in 2013, including five newcomers max kruse (borussia monchengladbach), sidney sam, philipp wollscheid (both bayer leverkusen), nicolai muller (mainz 05) and, at the last international match in england (1:0), goalkeeper roman weidenfeller from borussia dortmund.

With the late appointment of veteran weidenfeller and the further renunciation of bundesliga top striker stefan kiessling from bayer leverkusen, low made one thing clear above all: he is the boss. "A national coach should not always be like the flag in the wind, but act according to his own convictions," said low.

No player played in all twelve international matches. England legionnaires per mertesacker (FC arsenal) and andre schurrle (FC chelsea/ 10 each) made the most appearances. The 35 goals scored were distributed among 16 players. Top scorer was thomas muller of FC bayern munchen with six goals. Behind followed schurrle (4).

"We are fully convinced that we will play a very good world cup," said low, looking ahead to the new year. However, he never tired of pointing out the difficult sporting task in brazil, the dreamland of soccer, and the special conditions there: "the team has to function one hundred percent. If anyone thinks that we germans only have to fly to the sugar loaf and simply pick up the world cup trophy, these people misjudge the situation."

In the preliminary round venues salvador (16. June against portugal), fortaleza (21. June against ghana) and recife (26. June against the USA) hot and humid weather also prevails in the brazilian winter. "Start is only on 16. June, four days after the opening match: that’s an advantage," remarked team manager oliver bierhoff, who secured the last title for germany in england in 1996 with his golden goal in the european championship final in london: "it gives us a bit of time and the coaches a bit of breathing space in their preparations." with a test on 5. March in stuttgart against chile, the low team opens the world cup year.

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