'Hunted' Germany hungry for back-to-back World Cup titles

Germany's head coach Loew says that his squad must show the necessary hunger to repeat its Brazil 2014 triumph.

“Germany will be hunted like never before and near-superhuman forces will be needed if we want to end up becoming world champions again,” warned Joachim Loew.   -  AFP

Joachim Loew believes Germany will be hunted “like never before” when it attempts to become the first team for 56 years to successfully defend the World Cup in Russia.

Brazil, who lifted the Jules Rimet trophy in 1958 and 1962, was the last team to win back-to-back titles, but Germany's head coach Loew says that his squad must show the necessary hunger to repeat its Brazil 2014 triumph.

“Germany will be hunted like never before and near-superhuman forces will be needed if we want to end up becoming world champions again,” warned Loew.

READ: Rudiger bust-up nothing unusual, insists Kimmich

Loew sees Brazil — who beat Germany 1-0 in a friendly in Berlin in March, — Spain, England, France and Argentina as Germany's main threats at Russia 2018.

“Only us, as world champions, have anything to lose.” Germany has reached at least the semifinals of every major tournament since the 2006 World Cup finals with Loew in charge.

Under his stewardship, Germany has cemented its reputation as a tournament team capable of raising its performances for the big occasions.

ALSO READ: World's best Neuer incredible on return – Sule

The 58-year-old stepped up from his role as assistant to replace Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach in 2006 and Germany went on to finish as runners-up at Euro 2008, then third at the 2010 World Cup. His crowning moment was when Mario Goetze scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final.

However, Loew enhanced his status in Germany by winning the 2017 Confederations Cup, beating Chile 1-0 in the St Petersburg final, despite his brave decision to take an inexperienced squad to Russia and rest his star players.

His reward was a contract extension, which will carry him through to the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar. His record of 106 wins in 160 matches, with 30 draws and 24 defeats, gives him a win ratio of 66 percent.

He narrowly missed a German national team record in March when Gabriel Jesus' winning goal for Brazil in Berlin robbed Loew of a 23rd consecutive game without defeat.