FIFA Confederations Cup history
Die Nationalmannschaft have made two previous appearances at the FIFA Confederations Cup, the first of them coming at Mexico 1999, where the likes of Lothar Matthaus, Jens Lehmann and a young Michael Ballack formed part of a side that went out in the group phase. Beaten 4-0 by Brazil, the Germans came back with a 2-0 victory over New Zealand before losing by the same scoreline to USA. Germany returned to the competition six years later on home soil, giving an impressive exhibition of attacking football in what was a curtain-raiser for the following year’s FIFA World Cup™, which they also hosted. Coached by Jurgen Klinsmann at the time, they saw off Australia 4-3 and Tunisia 3-0 and then played out a 2-2 draw with Argentina. Though beaten by the odd goal in five by Brazil in the semis, the Germans bounced back to defeat Mexico in the match for third place, winning 4-3 after extra time.

The Road to Russia 2017
Germany will be heading to their third Festival of Champions as reigning World Cup holders, having secured a long-awaited fourth title at Brazil 2014. Tactically astute, technically gifted and well drilled, Joachim Low’s formidable side went unbeaten throughout the whole competition and stunned the watching world with their 7-1 semi-final demolition of A Seleção. Low’s men impressed once more against Argentina in the Final at in the Maracana, making the Trophy theirs again with Mario Gotze’s extra-time goal.

The coach
Since taking over from Klinsmann in the wake of the 2006 world finals, Low has sought to refine the enterprising brand of football introduced by his predecessor. After coming close to silverware at UEFA EURO 2008, South Africa 2010 and EURO 2012, he finally found the winning blend in Brazil, not that he is content to rest on his laurels, as he told FIFA.com: “We now face a great challenge, which is to go out and back up what we’ve done. Winning a World Cup is fantastic, but to go and do it again is something else entirely.” The upcoming Confederations Cup should give Low a good indication of his side’s ability to fulfil that challenge.

Key players
Manuel Neuer (goalkeeper), Bastian Schweinsteiger (midfielder), Toni Kroos (midfielder), Marco Reus (midfielder), Thomas Muller (forward)

The stat
3 -
The number of players from Germany’s 2005 Confederations Cup squad who went on to become world champions in Brazil nine years later. The trio in question are Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker.