Hamann: I think Argentina, Brazil or Spain will triumph
- âDidi Hamann believes Germanyâs starting XI is worse than it was in 2014
- He has tipped Argentina, Brazil or Spain to win the World Cup
- Hamann thinks Russia 2018 could belong to Lionel Messi
Dietmar Hamann would be âvery surprisedâ if Germany became the first side in 56 years to retain the FIFA World Cupâ¢ and believes the Russia 2018 winners will be Argentina, Brazil or Spain.
âWith the personnel weâve got, I think in depth we may be better than four years ago, but I donât think the first XI are better,â the 59-times-capped former defensive midfielder told Gulf News. âThere are a few positions Iâm really worried about and Iâd be very surprised if Germany were able to defend the title.
âIn Miroslav Klose, Philipp Lahm and Per Mertesacker, they lost 300 caps after the last World Cup. There are some talented kids coming through now, but they are yet to prove their class. Weâve seen it in the [UEFA] Champions League â" the cream rises to the top and the World Cup is a unique tournament, sometimes people get found out there.â
Germany were the only European team to win all ten of their Russia 2018 qualifiers, scoring 43 goals and conceding just four in the process. Joachim Lowâs charges also conquered last yearâs FIFA Confederations Cup.
However, in their last four outings, they drew with England, France and Spain before losing 1-0 at home to Brazil. And, despite Germany fielding under-strength teams against them, Hamann was left impressed enough to tag La Roja and A SeleÃ§Ã£o as the teams to beat in Russia â " along with another surprise side.
âWe played Brazil a few weeks ago and Spain were probably the better side against us,â said the 44-year-old. âYou shouldnât read too much into friendlies, but I think Spain and Brazil.
âAnd then the way that Argentina qualified, because they needed to beat Ecuador in the last game of South American qualifiers to get in. They went 1-0 down after two minutes and Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick and won that game.
âSometimes, when you have a close shave and qualify like that, and with it also possibly being Messiâs last World Cup, I wouldnât rule Argentina out either.â
Germany face Mexico, Sweden and Korea Republic in Group F at Russia 2018.
Hamann was part of a Germany side that were eliminated by Croatia at France 1998. The former Bayern Munich and Liverpool midfielder also helped his country reach the Korea/Japan 2002 Final, where they were undone by Ronaldo and Brazil.
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