Neuer: Portugal clash crucial for Germany

Joachim Low's side were fast out of the blocks at World Cup 2010 before finishing third and the Bayern Munich man believes that they will need to do the same in Brazil
Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has identified his side's first match at the World Cup against Portugal as pivotal as they bid to make a flying start to the tournament.

Joachim Low's side began the 2010 finals in stunning fashion with a 4-0 win over Australia, which set the tone for the rest of the competition as they finished third, having dismantled England and Argentina in the knockout stages.

This time around, Germany face Portugal, Ghana and United States in Group G and Neuer is well aware of the need to be fast out of the blocks in a bid to avoid a group-stage struggle.

The keeper told Bayern's official website: "I think it's important to make a good start, hopefully with a win.

"It gives us power for the games to come. The first match is the first final, everything's on the line.

"Football is the main sport in our nation so the expectations are high. We aim to fulfil those expectations."