Basler: Germany favourites for World Cup
Germany are favourites for the 2018 World Cup and are under no added pressure as defending champions, according to former international Mario Basler.
Joachim Low’s men were successful in Brazil in 2014 and also won the Confederations Cup this year, having been Euro 2016 semi-finalists.
Basler, who played 30 times for Germany, believes Low’s side deserve favouritism in Russia.
“For me, Germany are the number one contender,” he told Omnisport.
“Looking at the qualifiers, we just marched through, we are the defending champions and have a great number of players to choose from for Joachim Low.
“Of course, you’ll always have to keep an eye on France and Spain, but I believe, unless something extraordinary happens, we’ll have a great chance to defend the title.”
While Germany head into the World Cup as defending champions, Basler dismissed suggestions that brought added pressure.
“There’s no extra pressure for them. Every team that wants to win the World Cup has the same pressure, no matter if it’s Brazil, England, France, you name it, Spain, all of them have pressure, because they want to win,” he said.
“You can read everywhere, France is one of the big favourites, so they have the same pressure as the Germans.
“But I think everyone will be happy if they don’t have to face Germany.”
Germany were drawn in Group F for the World Cup, alongside Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.
Mario Basler was speaking at an event to celebrate the end of the UEFA Champions League group stage, where he and Nissan put football fans through the ultimate challenge.