Manuel Neuer expects Germany to be up against it when they face Ghana in their second Group G game tomorrow afternoon, according to Bild.
The Bayern Munich goalkeeper, who was largely untested in Monday’s 4-0 hammering of Portugal, believes that Germany will have to be at their best to beat Ghana. The Black Stars have never beaten Germany since their formation in 1920 and anything other than a win against the three times World Cup winners would result in their elimination from the tournament.
Germany on the other hand will reach the last-16 if they beat Ghana and Jurgen Klinsmann’s USA see off Portugal.
However, Neuer, who was in goal for Germany when the two sides last met each other in the group stages of the 2010 FIFA World Cup feels that Ghana won’t head for the exit doors without a fight. Mesut Ozil’s second half wonder strike was the only thing to separate the two teams that chilly night in Johannesburg, with Neuer expecting tomorrow’s fixture to be just as close.
He said: “We found it extremely difficult to play against Ghana at the 2010 World Cup. Then we had to rely on Mesut Ozil’s dream goal to launch us into the knockouts. It is going to be a very difficult game.”
The 28-year-old, who was an onlooker when Germany struggled to secure a 2-2 draw against Cameroon in a pre-World Cup friendly in Dortmund, has reiterated how hard it is to play against teams from the African subcontinent and feels that Ghana are “natural fighters.”
He said: “We know that Ghana is a very aggressive test. We have seen in our game against Cameroon how hard the African teams are to play against. We are expecting something very similar on Saturday. We have to be at the top of our game.”
Ghana’s Kevin-Prince Boateng has added fuel to the fire in his country’s build-up to the must win fixture by suggesting that Germany do not have the personalities to go on and win the World Cup. Boateng, who plays his trade for Neuer’s former club, Schalke 04, made the comment in reference to Bayern Munich’s 5-0 drubbing by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final.
However, the Gelsenkirchen born goalkeeper has bitten back by saying that he doesn't listen to such negative comments, and has reiterated that Germany do have the individuals to achieve success at the World Cup.
He said: “I don’t listen to such sayings anyways. I have seen around 80-90% of the World Cup games on the TV. I know where we stand. I also know where the others stand. I also know in which position our own players are in.”
Neuer, who has played his part in winning a haul of eight trophies over the past two seasons, including the Champions League in 2013 believes that the German internationals involved in the Bayern Munich set-up have what it takes after turning defeat into success.
He said: “It is a very random comment, that we would have no characters at Bayern. This is something which we have developed. And some of these match-winners are now indeed in our Word Cup squad.”
Neuer, who was feared to miss the World Cup having picked up a shoulder injury in Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win over bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Pokal final, has silenced concerns regarding his fitness, by insisting that he has fully recovered from his ordeal.
He said: “I am fine. Really. You know yourself when you start to regularly train and everything feels good. Everything is going well.”
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