Germans start World Cup prep

Joachim Loew. Photograph: Getty Images.
Joachim Loew. Photograph: Getty Images.
Getty Images
Cape Town - Germany launched their World Cup preparations on Wednesday with the start of a 10-day training camp in the Italian Alps aimed at fine-tuning a team bidding for a first international title in 18 years.

Germany coach Joachim Loew, in charge for his fourth tournament and second World Cup since taking over in 2006, has invited 27 players in his provisional squad which will be cut back to 23 by June 2.

Their cool and tranquil South Tyrolean mountain retreat deep in the Alps is a far cry from the hot and humid tropical conditions they will have to weather in Brazil as the three-times winners seek to end their title drought.

But the focus is firmly on becoming the first non-South American team to win a World Cup on that continent.

"The greed for the World Cup trophy is there," captain Philipp Lahm said ahead of their departure for northern Italy, site of their pre-World Cup preparations in 1990 when they last won the trophy.

"We have the punch to win the title but we have to be careful that the talent and ego of each of us serves the team. We need heart and passion in Brazil," he told Bild newspaper.

Lahm will skip training at the secluded football pitch surrounded by a high cloth-covered fences at the five-star hotel for at least five days as he recovers from an ankle injury picked up in the German Cup final on Saturday.
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 7815 votes
Cricket
11% - 1968 votes
Football
19% - 3574 votes
Athletics
3% - 464 votes
Boxing
1% - 171 votes
Cycling
2% - 441 votes
Golf
5% - 915 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1543 votes
Tennis
3% - 614 votes
Water sports
1% - 168 votes
American sports
1% - 217 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 571 votes
Vote