Dietmar Hamann believes Germany will win the World Cup and Manuel Neuer should be crowned Player of the Tournament.
While the potency of their forwards drew all the plaudits in the 7-1 semifinal humbling of Brazil, the Bayern goalkeeper produced another flawless display at the back – only to be denied a clean sheet by Oscar’s late consolation.
Hamann played in the last German side to reach the World Cup final when they lost to Brazil in 2002, but is convinced Joachim Low’s 2014 team are destined to go one better.
He said: “This year presents a better chance than they have had in recent tournaments. Perhaps they have had better individual players in the past but, as a group this squad seems stronger – which is why they have a great chance to win a major title.
“They have the capability to win the World Cup. They dismantled France and Brazil very emphatically. So now you look at Argentina and Holland. I’m not sure if Lionel Messi is 100 per cent fit even though he did well early on in the tournament.
“Holland have Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben but in a final I would fancy Germany to beat them.
Because I think Germany will win the World Cup, I would choose a German for the Golden Ball. My selection is Neuer with Mats Hummels a close second.”
Hamann also said it is vital for the sense of occasion of playing in the World Cup final not to distract Germany from their primary objective. “When I played in 2002, the tension built day by day, it got more intense as the tournament went on,” he added.
“The thing you remember is that there are 32 teams at the start – and then there are only 2 left. So you must have done well. But it’s really important not to use up too much nervous energy worrying about the size of the event.”