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Bundesliga News

Germany learn World Cup Group Stage opponents

By Peter Vice

The German national team learned two of their three World Cup group stage opponents after the 2022 draw in Qatar on Friday.

We're pleased to supply a little history and some thoughts from a German perspective here on Bulinews. 

German fans celebrating.
German fans celebrating.© Arne Müseler / arne-mueseler.de / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Germany will face Spain, Japan, and either Costa Rica or New Zealand during the 2022 World Cup Group stage. The German national team was drawn into Group E. Group stage action will take place from the 23rd of November to the 1st of December.

Spain


An old nemesis for the German national team. During the Spanish "glory days" between 2008 and 2012, "La Furia Roja" eliminated Joachim Löw's Germany in back-to-back tournaments. Luis Aragones' Spanish national team defeated Germany 1-0 in the Euro 2008 final. Two years later, Vicente del Bosque's Reds ended Germany's World Cup dream with a 1-0 defeat in the semis.


The two nations have not crossed paths in a major international since 2010. There nevertheless remains the not-so-small matter of the humiliating 0-6 drubbing delivered by the Spaniards in a November 2020 UEFA Nations League fixture. 

Germans absolutely treated this thrashing as a national humiliation. It was this match, unquestionably, led to the end of Jogi Löw's long tenure with die Nationalmannschaft.

Both of these programs have much to prove as they seek to shake off the torpor and get themselves back on track. Some fixture this should be on the second day of Group E play.

Japan


Fascinating! The Germans have actually never met "Samurai Blue" on this level before. The timing couldn't be better as one has a lot to look forward to here. For over a decade now, the Bundesliga's role in cultivating Japanese talent has continued to evolve. So many have followed in Shinji Kagawa's footsteps. There are definitely some interesting reunions on the horizon.

Two Bundesliga club players--Genki Haraguchi (FC Union Berlin) and Takuma Asano (VfL Bochum)--were called up to JFA trainer Hajime Moriyasu's latest squad. Ao Tanaka of Fortuna Düsseldorf also made the team. Players who have earned call ups recently include VfB Stuttgart captain Wataru Endo, Eintracht Frankfurt's twinkle-toed attacker Daichi Kamada, and Haraguchi's Union teammate Keita Endo.

On-loan Schalke defender Ko Itakura was also capped recently. If Masaya Okugawa (Arminia Bielefeld) can keep his form up, it's reasonable to assume that the exciting emerging talent will be there as well. If Ritsu Doan returns to the Bundesliga, we might yet get another. Plenty of interesting storylines developing here.

Costa Rica or New Zealand


Germany will have to wait on the results of the Oceania vs. CONCACAF inter-continental playoff to learn their final opponent. The Nationalmannschaft has never crossed paths with the "All-Whites" of New Zealand at this level. As for the Ticos, no German football lover will ever forget the Germany vs. Costa Rica match that kicked off the 2006 World Cup!


In an almost perfect advertisement for football in Germany (and around the world), Los Ticos and the hosting Germans furnished a six-goal thriller. From Philip Lahm's opening goal to Torsten Frings' laser to cap the 4-2 classic, the beloved "Sommermärchen" got "kick-started" on on June 9th, 2006. Though it gave us all quite the start, Germans also fondly recall Paulo Wanchope's brace from that match.

A re-match with Los Ticos would be most desirable.


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