Rio de Janeiro, 2014. As Mario Götze chests down an Andre shurrle cross and flashes it past Sergio Romero, an iconic moment was forged in the hearts of Germans the world over. As Phillip Lahm hoisted football’s ultimate prize over the humid Brazilian night, one thought would have been at the forefront of everyone’s mind: ‘Damn this Germany side is good.’ The fact that they made the hosts look like fools in a 7-1 drubbing had been the cherry on top for Die Mannschaft. The meticulous approach taken by the German footballing association on the upbringing of German youth was there for the world to see. Player after player, talent seemingly oozes out of this well-oiled factory.
Already being cast as favourites for the European Championships held in France in 2016, I thought it would be interesting to fast forward to the World cup 2022 and construct a team just from the youth available today.
First we need a formation. The Germany squads of the 70’s and 80’s were built on stamina, tactical rigidity and with a ‘team comes first’ attitude. Fast forward to the 21st century and you will find German teams playing with those same principles but having also added possession-based tactics to their arsenal. Considering all these factors and players available, it seems sensible to stick with the tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation.
The goalkeeping department is and surely will be for many years to come the of envy of the other national teams. Even considering that Manuel Neuer, Kevin Trapp and the plethora of goalkeepers over 26 will most likely not make the squad, that still leaves us with Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Loris Karius, and Timo Horn to it fight it out for the no.1 spot. At this point of time it is almost impossible to predict who will be the best in 6 years’ time. So most likely any one of them would fill up that starting spot.
Writer’s pick: Timo Horn
Following after players like Phillip Lahm, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng will no wonder be a tough proposition for any young prospect, but in Jonathan Tah, Niklas Sule Antonio Rudiger, Erik Durm, and Mathias Ginter, German fans can rest assured that their defence is set for years to come. Although a star left-back is yet to be found, Hoffenheim’s Jeremy Toljan or Freiburg’s Christian Gunter could certainly step up to the plate in the coming years.
Writer’s pick: Erik Durm, Johnathan Tah, Niklas Süle, Mathias Ginter
To adequately illustrate the entire midfield section, we have to split it into the 2 central and the 3 attacking midfielders used in our formation.
For the central midfield role, the candidates are Julian Weigl, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Mahmoud Dahoud, Johannes Geis, Marc Stendera and Emre Can.
Now for the attacking trio, it will most likely consist of Julian Draxler, Leroy Sane, Mario Götze, Maximillian Arnold and Max Meyer. With two of them already crowned World Champions, these midfielders absolutely exude class.
Writer’s pick: Julian Weigl, Joshua Kimmich / Julian Draxler, Mario Götze, Leroy Sane
Over their illustrious past, Germany has been gifted with some of the best forwards the world has ever seen. Names like Gerd Müller, Miroslav Klose, Uwe Seeler come to mind but ever since Klose’s retirement, they have had to rely on the erratic Mario Gomez or on Thomas Muller, who is many things but being an out and out striker is not one of them. Looking into the German talent pool, there only 3 adequate candidates as of yet. They are David Selke, Timo Werner and former U-21 captain Kevin Volland. Each striker brings different elements into the game but for the best of both worlds, Volland is the most likely to be leading the line come 2022.
Writer’s pick: Kevin Volland
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