6/8/2018 2:49:56 PM (GMT+3)

We're not the clear favourites, says 1990 World Cup-winner Berthold


NEW DELHI: 1990 World Cup-winner Thomas Berthold felt that defending champions Germany will have their task cut out in the World Cup, which starts next week.

“We are not the clear favourites. France, Brazil and Spain are all ahead of us and Argentina are more or less the dark horses of the tournament,” Berthold told fifa.com.

Joachim Loew’s side will begin their campaign against South Korea, Sweden and Mexico in Group F.

Berthold believes they need to secure top spot give it their all in the group.

On 2014 World Cup final goal-scorer Mario Gotze’s omission from the team, “If you pick players based on performance, it’s completely understandable. He simply hasn’t earned it this year, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be back again one day.”

The former centre-half hoped that another unforgettable tournament will unfold in Russia.

“The stadiums are top quality and the Russians love their sport. I hope their team make it beyond the group stages to keep the euphoria going,” said the 53-year-old.

Asked about the pressure of being the defending champions in the competition, Berthold said, “Four years is a long time. The squad has changed and there are plenty of new players. A lot needs to happen to defend the title. We had a great team in 1994 too, but there were other reasons why that didn’t work out.”

He credited the German football federation for continuing with Loew.

“Continuity is good in football if you’ve been successful, and that’s been the case for the DFB for more than ten years. If he’s motivated to stay on, he’s the right man for the job and can easily carry on until 2022,” said Berthold, who also played in the 1986 World Cup.