Factbox on Germany

May 19 (Reuters) - Factbox on Germany who are in Group D at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa:

Colours: White shirts, black shorts and white socks.

Nickname: Nationalmannschaft

Previous World Cup appearances: 1934, 1938, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006

Best World Cup performance: Winners - 1954, 1974, 1990

Losing finalists - 1966, 1982, 1986, 2002

Coach: Joachim Loew

Most capped player: Lothar Matthaeus 150

Top goalscorer: Gerd Mueller 68

Talking points:

The late loss of captain and experienced midfielder Michael Ballack with an ankle injury was a blow to Germany.

Coach Joachim Loew's first World Cup in charge could also be his last, after contract extension talks collapsed earlier this year and were postponed until after the tournament.

Having taken over from Juergen Klinsmann after the 2008 World Cup in Germany, Loew has run the team with a steady hand, steering them to the Euro 2008 final. But he has failed to establish Germany as one of the favourites for the World Cup.

The 50-year-old has not relaxed his ban on striker Kevin Kuranyi and also opted to drop veteran midfielder Torsten Frings in favour of a younger and more agile midfield.

Player to watch:

Striker Lukas Podolski could prove to be a match-winner. With a stunning scoring record for the national team, and after a subdued season at Cologne when he scored just two goals, Podolski is desperate to reveal his best form on the big stage. (Compiled by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Robert Woodward To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

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