It all began on a chilly and damp evening in Leverkusen, on 24th March 2001. Up against Albania in a crucial World Cup qualifier, the Nationalmannschaft had taken the lead five minutes into the second half after a stunning strike
Charlton Heston? Russell Crowe? Michael Palin? No, a certain Lukas Podolski – who looks set to win his hundredth international cap against Denmark in Lviv on Sunday – becoming the seventh player to reach the mark for the Nationalmannschaft.
So today saw the draw for the group qualification stage for the 2014 World Cup, and what is a somewhat familiar-looking group for Germany. In what is a six-team Group C, the Nationalmannschaft have been pitted against Sweden, Austria, the