Germany will take on Chile in Sunday’s Confederations Cup final feeling like they have already won the tournament after a fine run with a second-string team has yielded several top prospects for next year’s World Cup defence.
Coach Joachim Loew is not a huge fan of a the eight-team event that acts as a dress rehearsal for the subsequent year’s World Cup and he opted to rest many of his first-choice players for the Russia tournament rather than shorten their off-season.
Among those missing are Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Manuel Neuer and Marco Reus as Loew opted to take a team made up of young hopefuls keen to gain valuable tournament experience with 2018 in mind.
Loew got more than he bargained for, however, and will be spoilt for choice on Sunday with several players, such as joint top-scorers Leon Goretzka and Timo Werner, and Lars Stindl, showing great promise at the Russian event.
While a title against the South American champions, which would be Germany’s first in this competition, would be more than welcome, Loew is more interested in preserving team spirit ahead of the showdown in St Petersburg.
Hungry for success
Germany’s Leon Goretzka scores their second goal against Mexico Confederations Cup semi final on June 29, 2017, at Fisht Stadium, Sochi. (Reuters)
“They will be trying flat out to pull it off, as they are coming to the end of their season, and we will have to try and counter that.
“We know the Chileans are flexible in their game. They have been pursuing their own style for many years now, a very good and positive development.”