MONCHENGLADBACH, June 2: Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has told the Germany squad to improve their defence if they are to realise their dream of winning a fourth World Cup title.
Germany were held to a 2-2 draw by fellow World Cup candidates Cameroon in Moenchengladbach on Sunday with all four goals scored in the second-half.
Khedira says while the Germans are renowned for their attacking football, the side with the most organised defence will win the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.
Germany finished third four years ago at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but Khedira says they will struggle in Group G against Portugal, Ghana and the USA unless they are tight at the back.
“You can’t win a tournament with just attacking football,” Khedira told German magazine Kicker.
“We were incredibly compact in 2010, everyone defended, which is something which we have lost since then.
“Before Euro 2012, I warned against always raving on about our great attacking football.
“We’ll win a few sympathy points by playing a nice attacking game, but that is no longer our goal.
“Our target is to finally get our hands on the cup.”
Joachim Loew named his final 23-man World Cup squad on Monday with centre-back Shkodran Mustafi, left-back Marcel Schmelzer and striker Kevin Volland the trio cut from the provisional squad.
With 131 caps, Miroslav Klose is the only recognised striker in the squad, captained by Philipp Lahm, as he prepares to celebrate his 36th birthday on Monday.
Bayern Munich’s attacking midfielder Mario Goetze played up front against Cameroon as a ‘False Nine’ in an experiment likely to be repeated in Brazil.
Left-back Erik Durm travels to Brazil at the expense of his Borussia Dortmund team-mate Schmelzer having made his debut against Cameroon.
Loew has included Moenchengladbach’s Christoph Kramer and Freiburg’s Matthias Ginter as defensive midfield cover for his first-choice pairing of Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger.