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Germany the favorite for 2018: Would you bet against them?

Jul 14, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT

Brazil Soccer WCup Germany Argentina AP

Seven wins, no losses, eighteen goals, four goals allowed and a six-goal defeat of the host nation/No.1 team in the world: this is how Germany’s World Cup run looks after Sunday’s 1-0 win over Argentina in the title match.

And I’m here to tell you: they should get better.

While the same thing may’ve been said about Spain after their 2010 World Cup preceded this tournament’s failure, it’s hard to imagine Germany’s future will follow that path. Through the 2016 Euro in France and into the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Die Mannschaft should continue to function at a very, very high level.

[ MORE from our 2014 World Cup review ]

Would you bet against Germany becoming just the third team to win back-to-back World Cups?


1) (Most of) the boys will be back

While Miroslav Klose will ride off into the sunset for sure, there are few other on the roster who should be ruled out of competing for the 2018 World Cup trophy. Captain Philipp Lahm will be 34 to go with a trio of 33-year-olds (Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker). Of that group, only Podolski and Mertesacker seem longshots.

Here are the 2018 ages for some key figures in the 2014 run:

Toni Kroos, 28
Thomas Mueller, 28
Andre Schurrle, 27
Sami Khedira, 31
Mario Goetze, 26
Mesut Ozil, 29
Jerome Boateng, 29
Mats Hummels, 29
Benedikt Howedes, 30
Manuel Neuer, 32

Julian Draxler and Matthias Ginter made the side at 20, Christoph Kramer at 23 and Shkodran Mustafi at 22. They’ll seemingly only get better.

2) And those young guys who were on the fringe…

Here’s a list of players Germany left home, and their ages for 2018:

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 26
Marco Reus, 29
Lars Bender, 29
Pierre-Michel Lasogga, 26
Emre Can, 24
Kevin Volland, 25

3) Russia is closer to Germany than Brazil

I know! It surprised me, too.

Aside from falling in the 1998 quarterfinals in France, here are Germany’s finishes in World Cups played in Europe dating back to 1938: third, first, second, first, second, fourth, first.

4) The mighty BuLi!

If there’s a league that can compare to the Premier League, the Bundesliga can make the most claims. And only seven of the 30 players that made up Germany’s preliminary World Cup roster were plying their trade away from the BuLi.

  1. sportsfan69 - Jul 14, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Until the English are committed to bringing up their own homegrown talent through their Premier League, they will never be a serious contender for the World or Euro Cups. The Germans, Spaniards, Italians, and the French have figured it out. Keep outsiders (players) to a minimum.

  2. talgrath - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    It’s really, really tough to repeat a World Cup win, especially in the modern era; it has only been twice and the last time it happened was 1962. Talent fluctuates, the guys that are brilliant one cup may not return, if they do return they have four more years on the treads and may not be as sharp as they were before. More than a mere factor of talent though is the fact that in the modern era everyone can go back and examine the tapes of your games endlessly, looking for subtle mistakes and ways to break your strategy. Aside from that, in the modern World Cup a lot of things need to go your way (as that final showed us); that last ditch defensive tackle has to work, the goalie has to guess wrong on that shot, etc; sheer chance means that the odds are against you. Could Germany win it all again? Of course. Would I bet money on it right now? Hell no, that’s just dumb, that’s four years away.

    • Nicholas Mendola - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:32 PM

      So you would bet against them?

      • handsofsweed - Jul 14, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        IDK. It seems to me that he’s saying that in July of 2014, he’s not betting for or against any team in the 2018 WC.

      • talgrath - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Since I’m a fan, no. But even if I wasn’t, bets don’t work quite like that way, you bet for a team rather than against them directly. Would I bet for another team? No.

    • Skulb - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      You`re right. People were saying the same thing after 1998 when the French looked unbeatable and after 2010 when the Spanish looked invincible. But it`s very hard to repeat it and no one has done this in 52 years.
      I`ll bet against Germany just based on statistics.

  3. mlbdolie - Jul 14, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Going beyond the six almosts you mentioned, they also could have:
    Max Arnold, 24
    Davie Selke, 23
    Timo Werner, 22
    Leon Goretzka, 23
    Hany Mukhtar, 23
    Maximilian Meyer, 22
    All got time in the Bundesliga last year as teenagers, and they have all excelled at the youth national level. Selke and Mukhtar are on the U-19 team that is the favorite going into the UEFA U-19 tourney coming up in Hungary. Selke has eight goals in 10 youth caps, while Mukhtar has seven goal in 11 youth caps.

    • dat1ravens1fan - Jul 15, 2014 at 12:22 AM

      not to mention the shot that a 33 year old Mario Gomez is good enough to crack the squad.. good veteran, big-bodied presence

      • mlbdolie - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        Gomez has no shot at the 2018 World Cup. He’s been trending down for a couple of years already, doesn’t have pace, and looks like he’s bound for Turkey. Germany will have a dozen better options in attack than Gomez in 2018.

  4. nextmanup81 - Jul 14, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Nicholas – if you gave Talgrath the option of betting Germany or the field in 2018, he/she sounds like they are taking the field. He/she makes some very good points too. 4 years is a long time to bridge the gap. It’s a copycat futebol world, and 4 years is a long enough to for teams to so the things that Talgrath mentioned. Certainly they look like favorites now, but doesn’t every World Cup winner look like the next Cup’s favorite right after they win? The reasons why repeat champions are so rare is worth examining.

  5. tarotsujimoto74 - Jul 14, 2014 at 9:14 PM

    Just a heads up, Germany had six wins, not seven.

  6. mcbeet - Jul 14, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    I would not bet against them. I know a lot has to go right, but..

  7. lawlessko - Jul 14, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    What about Gundogan(27 in ’18)? If healthy he would have been on this team, and a dangerous sub.

    • martin492013 - Jul 14, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      He would be due to be a starter, great talent, probably take over for Schweiny who could then become a super sub

    • lawlessko - Jul 14, 2014 at 11:24 PM

      How did I forget Schmelzer(30 in “18)? Also would have been in the mix if not for a nagging injury?

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