Germany – @JMWillis01
Germany World Cup keeper preview
Germany has been inundated with a wealth of goalkeeping talent over the course of their history. From World Cup winning Sepp Maier to the brutish figure of Oliver Kahn, some of the world’s greats have originated from Germany, and this trend has continued into the present day.
It’s perhaps testament to the depth of the German national team that established goalkeepers such as Rene Adler and Bernd Leno won’t be making the squad. As two of the finest the Bundesliga have to offer, the Hamburg and Bayer Leverkusen keepers will feel aggrieved about their likely absence from the squad, but such is the nature of representing one of the true powerhouses in international football. As with every position in the German national side, there is a wealth of talent to discuss, but here are our three picks for Die Mannschaft.
Standing at 6’4 and still dwarfed by his ego, the Bayern Munich goalkeeper has cemented himself as Germany’s #1 since showing impressive form for Schalke over four years ago. Since then, a move to Bayern Munich has seen him land two Bundesliga’s, two German cups and two European trophies. The move into the spotlight has given him the exposure to become widely considered one, if not the best, in world football right now. Though prone to the occasional rush of blood, his technique and athleticism make him a supreme shot-stopper, and his brilliant technique with his feet truly embodies the modern goalkeeper. Indeed, the Bayern keeper regularly insists he could play outfield, and his forays out of his area regularly prove that he probably has the ability to.
Manuel Neuer had a starring role in the German version of Monster’s University, and the imposing keeper will want to get back into character to protect the net in Germany’s World Cup campaign.
As the oldest ever German debutant, Dortmund stopper Roman Weidenfeller couldn’t have timed his entrance to the national team any better. Making his debut in a 1-0 friendly victory against England late last year, he has yet to make another national team appearance, but is likely to be back up to Neuer in Brazil. Though his international experience is minimal, his 12 year tenure at Dortmund has been incredibly fruitful. Over 300 appearances has resulted in two Bundesliga titles, and whilst this season hasn’t been great for either Dortmund or Weidenfeller, he has been part of a broken back line due to injury this year. Previously considered a weak link in his Dortmund side, and his late entry into the national team often being attributed to the fall of Tim Weise and Rene Adler’s dip in form, it’s sometimes overlooked how well he has ripened with age. His critics won’t budge, but he is in the squad on nothing more than merit, and will make a fine back up for Manuel Neuer.
Marc Andre Ter Stegen
The youngest of the trio, Ter Stegen is often seen as one of the brightest sparks in world goalkeeping. His move to Barcelona has now finally been confirmed, and inheriting Victor Valdes’ spot on one of the world’s best sides speaks volumes about his ability. Though his first foray into international football ended with a high profile error against the US, he’ll be keen to see more international game time. This probably won’t happen in Brazil, but the experience will be hugely beneficial for the 22 year old. Though perhaps rated more highly by those who don’t regularly watch him play (“he’s good on FIFA!”), his potential is undeniable and being in the company of Manuel Neuer and a host of the world’s best players will only help him develop. He’ll have to be content with third choice, but to even make this German squad is a highly commendable achievement for any keeper as young as he.