FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022: Germany to Face Spain in the Group Stage With ‘Negative Memories’ of Friendly Rout

Four-time champions Germany and 2010 winners Spain are set to collide in Qatar after being drawn to meet in the same group at the World Cup finals.


The European giants will also face Japan as well as the winners of an intercontinental play-off between Costa Rica and New Zealand in Group E.

Spain thrashed Germany 6-0 in a Nations League match in November 2020.

Germany goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer said: “It was inevitable that we were going to get a strong opponent from the pot.

“We have negative memories, but something like that doesn’t happen to us twice,” he said, referring to the heavy away defeat in Spain.

“We’re confident, we’re going to have a good tournament,” the Bayern Munich player added.

“They are all serious opponents, we will have to be on our toes.”

Germany crashed out of the group stages at the 2018 World Cup and lost to England in the last 16 of the European championship finals last June.

“We haven’t covered ourselves in glory in recent tournaments and we want to make up for that,” Neuer said.

Germany head coach Hansi Flick described drawing 2010 World Cup winners Spain as “really something”, adding: “It’s an interesting group, but not easy.”

“We’re expecting a lot from this tournament. Japan is a team with a lot of players in the Bundesliga so they have a lot of quality.

“We were intending to play a friendly against them so that will be ditched.

“We played Costa Rica in our opening game of the 2006 World Cup (which Germany won 4-2), we have fond memories of that.

“All the teams (in the group) have evolved and have something special to offer.

“We are happy, but we will have to be ready from the beginning.

“We want to get as far as we can, preferably into the final.”

With Flick’s predecessor Joachim Loew in charge, Germany won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but crashed out of the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia at the group stage.

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