By Greg Stobart
Jurgen Klinsmann has cut off contact with his "very close friend" Joachim Low in recent days – but he believes his former assistant has built a Germany side to challenge for the World Cup.
Klinsmann is preparing his United States team to face Germany in Recife on Thursday knowing a draw against his homeland will guarantee both teams a place in the last 16 in Brazil.
He maintains a close relationship with Low, who worked as his assistant with Germany for two years before taking over following the 2006 World Cup – but Klinsmann admits they have been giving each other the silent treatment in the build-up to the Group G clash.
"We both do the best job we can do and leave phone calls and text messages for a couple of days," Klinsmann said in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
"After the World Cup we will pick up the phones and talk about it, and our families will see each other.
"We grew over two years of a partnership. We are very close friends. We think alike, we come from the same region in south of Germany, we have always stayed in contact.
"What Jogi has done for the last eight years is outstanding. Looking from the outside, I'm proud of what he has done and what this team has done.
"Germany have a team with the potential to win the World Cup, we don't claim that. They have a strong possibility to go for the title."
USA have impressed in their first two World Cup matches, beating Ghana before drawing with Portugal last time out.
Klinsmann has been encouraged by the number of shock results in the tournament so far and believes USA can spring another surprise against his home country.
"We've seen this is a World Cup full of surprises. We want to be one of those surprises," Klinsmann added.
"We are very capable of beating Germany and we know that, without being over-confident.
"I personally have nothing to prove. It's just a wonderful moment to enjoy. When do you go to a World Cup and get a chance to play against your former team?
"Some people might be surprised by our results so far but we are not. We are by no means the underdog in this tournament."