Germany build with no plan of saying auf wiedersehen yet

WHEN the German Football Association went the whole hog and sanctioned their own purpose-built resort for the World Cup finals, you gathered they were not planning on leaving Brazil too soon.

It was a business-like statement made and implemented with the minimum of fuss, but with the highest degree of professional planning. Not too dissimilar to Germany’s opening outings in World Cups past and present for that matter.

The sight of Nationalmannschaft dismantling an indisciplined Portuguese side in Salvador with customary efficiency, and producing a subsequent 4-0 drubbing of Cristiano Ronaldo and c0, had a certain ring of inevitability about it.

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When it comes to group stages of finals, let alone qualification, Germany do not mess about.

The last time the Germans reached the final, in 2002, they demolished Saudi Arabia 8-0 in their curtain-raiser, while four years ago Australia did a little better, a 4-0 defeat.

Back in 2006 when Germany last hosted the competition, Costa Rica were dispatched 4-2, while who can forget their overture in 1990, when they pulverised the old Yugoslavia 4-1, with Lothar Matthaus scoring one of the goals of the tournament in Milan?

Going back even further to their successful campaigns of 1954 and 1974, they accounted for Turkey and Chile.

You have to recede to 1986 for the last time Germany did not win their opening World Cup game, or top their group either.

That is eight tournaments ago – and even when they finished behind Denmark in Mexico ‘86, they had the considerable consolation of making the final.

Germany do not even remotely consider the prospect of group elimination.

Qualification at a canter is as German as sauerkraut and a stein, with their modus operandi ensuring they are around for the sharp end of tournaments. Always has been, always will be.

Germany have not lifted the World Cup since 1990 or a major tournament in 18 years.

That represents a lifetime by their sky-high standards with making at least the quarter-finals pretty much filed under the category of ‘will be delivered’ before the serious stuff starts.

The word is that the cost of building their vast Porto Seguro training base on the Atlantic coast in northern Brazil, relatively close to their group games at Salvador, Fortaleza and Recife, will only be justified if Germany are around in the competition until well in July. Take that to mean the final.

Can they deliver? Don’t let it be said that Germany have no panache with Monday’s win polished and not perfunctory. It had style and substance.

Neuer, 28, Hummels, 25, Khedira, 27, Schweinsteiger, 29, Ozil, 25, Muller, 24, Kroos, 24 and Boateng, 25. Top players of the right ages with one consequence of Bayern Munich’s heavy Champions League exit to Real Madrid in late April being that many of Germany’s big-hitters had extra time to rest up.

Inwardly, you feel Joachim Low would have taken a modicum of satisfaction from Bayern’s crushing second-leg loss at the Allianz Arena.

Several home-based Bayern stars – add Holland’s Arjen Robben too – may have cut a dejected bunch that night, but Madrid’s Iberian international contingent, Pepe, Ramos, Casillas et al, aren’t smiling so much now.