The World Cup kicked off on Sunday evening, with the hosts, Qatar, taking on Ecuador. Perhaps not the kind of start the hosts wanted, as they lost 2-0 to the South American country. The match set the tone for the competition, with every country now on its toes.
There should be surprises at the tournament this year, and the top dogs are already gearing up for what should be an exciting Mondial. While discussions have been going on with pundits choosing the favourites to win the tournament, not many have given Germany a chance to replace France as the new champions.
Die Mannschaft have not been in imperious form. Despite losing one game in the qualifying stage, the quality of the opposition they faced elicited little confidence in the side. Germany, however, remains a force in Europe and the world, and Rudiger has reminded everyone that Die Mannschaft have not come to Qatar as tourists.
The talk on most lips regarding the eventual winners of the World Cup has been Brazil, Argentina, Spain and perhaps France. They are traditional football heavyweights. As expected, they are ranked higher than other nations to win the World Cup. Despite rating Germany, few people have given them a real chance of winning the World Cup.
Rudiger seems peeved by the way Germany is taken with levity. The Real Madrid defender has sent out a notice to all who care that Germany can never be ruled out. Rudiger warned against overlooking the chances of Germany emerging victorious at Qatar. It was an easy ride for Die Mannschaft to reach the World Cup, but their Euro Nations League outing puts a cloud over their chances.
Germany failed to defend the trophy they won in 2014 at the last edition. It was an outing to forget at Russia as they crashed in the group stage after disappointing losses to Mexico and South Korea.
Germany also crashed in the last 16 of Euro 2020 as they lost to England. It turned out to be the final match for Joachim Low. Hansi Flick is now in charge and has renewed hope in Die Mannschaft.
Antonio Rudiger has confessed that Germany have not been up to scratch recently and rightly ranked outside the top dogs. The former Chelsea defender believes the team is talented and capable of springing surprises at the tournament.
Speaking with The Guardian, Rudiger admitted that Brazil and France are the favourites to win, as their performance before the last international break showed.
Rudiger believes anything can happen. He said in its current form, Germany may not be favourites, but they remain a force to be reckoned with and have a good team.
According to Rudiger, Germany needs not to be afraid of anyone. He has charged his teammates to come together, so they can get the job done. Rudiger believes it would be helpful and said he is not worried because they have a fantastic team.
Rudiger acknowledges they must improve their defensive performance in Qatar. Their last competitive game was against England in the Euro Nations League, and they contrived to throw away a 2-0 lead and finished the game 3-3.
Germany begin their World Cup campaign against Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Wednesday.