Manuel Neuer has been been given the green light to face Portugal in Germany's opening FIFA World Cup™ match on Monday by the national team's goalkeeper coach Andreas Kopke.
The Bayern Munich goalkeeper has not taken part in a full training session since the DFB-Pokal final last month due to a shoulder injury, but he is due to train on Wednesday with Kopke convinced he will be ready. With Cristiano Ronaldo returning to action for Portugal in their final warm-up game on Tuesday, Neuer's return would come as a boost to Germany coach Joachim Low.
"Manuel's going to train fully today so that he can get a feel for his shoulder," Kopke said at a press conference. "Things are going in the right direction for him. Manuel is experienced enough and we're constantly discussing how his shoulder feels. It's not the case that he doesn't have faith in it. Manuel is fully fit."
Roman Weidenfeller kept goal for Germany's final two warm-up matches against Cameroon and Armenia and his performances in training have only helped Neuer, according to Kopke, who was Germany's third-choice goalkeeper when they last won the World Cup in 1990.
"You've got to have a great team spirit," Kopke said. "Roman has said himself that there is no point in arguing about who should be number one. He would be ready to play at any time, but he knows the overall situation. The players are pushing each other to greater things with their performances."
To help raise this team spirit, Germany, like most nations participating at the World Cup this summer, will rely on the help of a sports psychologist. Dr. Hans-Dieter Hermann will be doing his best to ensure they are mentally prepared for their World Cup games, and he says the basics are in place for a successful tournament.
"Already, we have a team-building base here," he said. "The conditions could not be any better for our requirements. A World Cup or European Championships is always something particularly special for the players, but they are already particularly good at dealing with pressure."
Instead, Hermann will be focusing on other aspects, such as the climate conditions. Germany's opening group match against Portugal kicks off at 1:00pm(local time), when the heat and humidity are approaching their highest levels.
"The mind plays a particularly big role," Hermann said. "You have to try not to focus on the conditions too much.
"Apart from the humidity, which is the real issue, we have the same kinds of temperatures in Germany also."