Only Germany can challenge Brazil, says Beckenbauer

The former Germany international sees the hosts as the team to beat this summer, but feels the Nationalelf can cause them problems
Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer believes that Joachim Low's men are the only team capable of challenging Brazil for the World Cup this summer.

The hosts are one of the favourites after impressing at last year's Confederations Cup - beating world champions Spain 3-0 in the final - but Beckenbauer has insisted Germany will prove to be real challengers for the tournament, too.

"I have seen Brazil play devastatingly well during the Confederations Cup. And they will be doing the same during the World Cup as well. Brazil can truly be challenged only by the Germans," Beckenbauer told the Times of India.

"However, I know that the teams that have won the Confederations Cup have never won the World Cup in the same year. So, in that respect, they have some problems. Otherwise, they will start as clear favourites.

"History of the World Cup says that Brazil are the most successful team, winning the cup five times. We are close second since we have reached more number of semi-finals.

"We have really a good side with [Bastian] Schweinsteiger, [Manuel] Neuer, [Mario] Gotze, [Marco] Reus, [Mesut] Ozil. Almost all of these young footballers are product of our academies and that has really helped the side to excel."

Germany meet Portugal, Ghana and USA in the group stages.