World Cup news

Loew focused following tough draw

December 6, 2013
By Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Germany coach Joachim Loew said his preparations for the 2014 World Cup could begin in earnest after they were drawn to face Portugal, the U.S. and Ghana.

• Horncastle: Group G preview

The Germans are one of the pre-tournament favourites and have consistently reached the later stages of recent competitions -- but he is refusing to look too far past what has already been called ‘the group of death’.

"I’ll accept it as it is. We now know whom and most of all where we will be playing. We can now start our work," Loew told ARD TV, before explaining that he was concerned about the weather conditions in Brazil.

"I briefly looked at Group H," he added of Germany's potential last 16 opponents, "but it’s a lot of work to get out of the group. It’s a World Cup of exertions."

All three opponents will prove tough for Germany, but Loew is particularly relishing the game against Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA side – and a reunion of the man to whom he was assistant Germany boss in 2006.

"To be in one group with the U.S. is something special," he added. "Jurgen and I chatted yesterday. We have a great relationship."

Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff, a former teammate of Klinsmann, also said he was looking forward to that game.

"It is indeed special to meet Jurgen Klinsmann," he said. "We went for dinner last night and he talked about the recent developments in the U.S. team. I guess he will not do that from now on."

Speaking to German TV, Klinsmann said he was ready for the prospect of facing one of the favourites, and felt the group couldn’t have been much harder for his team.

"That group beats everything. But we are ready for it," he said. "It’s one of those stories that only football can write. For us, from a U.S. point of view this group is indeed madness. It could not get more difficult. But we have confidence and trust ourselves to get out of the group."

Switzerland coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, a former Germany international, predicted that Loew's team would navigate the group successfully, saying: "There are many good stories in there for the media, but the U.S. will have nothing on Germany,".

USA international Steve Cherundolo, who has played in the Bundesliga for over a decade, said: "It’s a very difficult group with many familiar faces. We need to show three top performances to reach the knockout stages. I would be absolutely delighted to be a prt of that."

Berlin-born Ghana international Kevin-Prince Boateng, set for a second meeting with his half-brother Jerome on the international stage, was delighted about facing his "dream opponent".

 

"I am looking forward to the next match against my brother during a World Cup," Boateng told Bild. "But also the game against my team-mate Jermaine Jones is just great."

Kicker said Germany would have the opportunity to succeed in Brazil, saying: "The big favourites, Spain, Italy and most of all hosts Brazil will not be the opponent’s before the semifinal. That’s a fair chance."

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