Bayern Munich star and Germany captain Manuel Neuer can look at his World Cup experiences in both 2014 and 2018 and identify how things felt just prior to each tournament.
“In 2014, I didn’t have the feeling we would go all the way and become world champions. The start against Portugal was great. We experienced the opposite against Mexico in 2018. With a good start you get into a rhythm,” said Neuer (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “It will be important to have a good positional play and try to play out from the back. It will be difficult for Japan to deal with us if we play with a lot of power and pace in attack. They have dangerous players like Frankfurt’s (Daichi) Kamada, who is a threat.”
This will be a bit of a transitional squad for Germany, though, so it is tough to predict how the team will perform against a tough opponent under the bright lights in Qatar. Neuer, however, is expecting the German national team’s young players to rise to the occasion.
“Most of them are attacking players, except for (Armel) Bella-Kotchap. It’s important they can show what they got when they get playing time. It’s the case with (Youssoufa Moukoko). We got to know each other quickly, we have a good relationship and talk a lot,” Neuer remarked.
Finally, Neuer said it would not be a big deal that there are no Bayern Munich players on the backline for Hansi Flick.
“I still know Niki Süle from Bayern, and I’ve also played a lot with Toni Rüdiger. It’s different from previous tournaments where we had defenders from Bayern, but it’s not a problem,” Neuer said.