A World Cup encore, then down to business

It has now been over a month since Germany’s historic victory over Argentina in the World Cup final in Rio, and it still seems like yesterday. The memories are still warm, but the time has come for the start of yet another season without some of the team more famous names. In the weeks after the Nationalmannschaft’s fourth global triumph skipper Philipp Lahm, record-breaking striker Miroslav Klose and defender Per Mertesacker – centurions all – would announce their international retirement.

This season’s fixtures had already been arranged prior to the tournament in Brazil, and the 2014/15 season gets off to an interesting start with a rematch between the two Rio finalists in Düsseldorf. After that, the real business begins in earnest with the opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland in Dortmund.

In the absence of the three retirees and the injured Bastian Schweinsteiger and Shkodran Mustafi eighteen of the winning squad return as part of a twenty-one man Kader – which sees the return of Fiorentina striker Mario Gómez, Dortmund midfielder Marco Reus and VfB Stuttgart’s young defender Antonio Rüdiger.

While the showcase opening against the Albiceleste is likely to see some degree of experimentation by coach Jogi Löw, pride and prestige will clearly be at stake – making this slightly different from the usual relaxed August friendly. The Argentinians will also be about to make a point after their defeat in July.

The last meeting between the two teams on German soil in Frankfurt in August 2012 would result in a 3-1 victory for the visitors, a match where ‘keeper Ron-Robert Zieler would be dismissed inside the first half an hour for a professional foul. Zieler is again in the squad, though it is unlikely he will make the starting lineup this time around.

Four days later sees the visit of Scotland, and the first meeting of the two sides in over ten years – with the last encounter in September 2003 also taking place in Dortmund. Then Rudi Völler’s side would triumph 2-1 en route to the Euro 2004 finals, but this time all German fans will be hoping for a far more convincing performance. Overall, Germany’s record against Scotland is not great: in the fifteen games played, the statistics read at six wins, five draws and four defeats – with the last negative result coming in a friendly in Bremen in April 1999.

Following the retirement of Lahm, Klose and Mertesacker and the absence of Schweinsteiger we will also see a new player take the captain’s armband, with ‘keeper Manuel Neuer and defensive midfielder Sami Khedira being the favourites. Only one centurion makes it into the current squad – 116-cap Lukas Podolski – while seven of the twenty-one have five or fewer international caps.


Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München, 52/0)
Roman Weidenfeller (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 3/0)
Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96, 3/0)


Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München, 46/0)
Erik Durm (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 1/0)
Matthias Ginter (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 2/0)
Kevin Großkreutz (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 5/0)
Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04, 28/2)
Mats Hummels (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 36/4)
Antonio Rüdiger (VfB Stuttgart, 1/0)


Julian Draxler (FC Schalke 04, 12/1)
Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF, 51/5)
Christoph Kramer (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 5/0)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid CF, 51/7)
Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München, 56/22)
Mesut Özil (Arsenal FC, 62/18)
Lukas Podolski (Arsenal FC, 116/47)
Marco Reus (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 21/7)
André Schürrle (Chelsea FC, 39/15)


Mario Gómez (ACF Fiorentina, 59/25)
Mario Götze (FC Bayern München, 35/11)

A World Cup encore, then down to business

One thought on “A World Cup encore, then down to business

  • August 29, 2014 at 18:05

    Part of me was hoping against hope that Low would call on Kiesling after his brilliant start of the season. Durm was disappointing against Leverkusen, Draxler have also been dismal recently.


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