Schmeichel tips Germany to win the World Cup
No European team has ever won a World Cup in editions staged in South America thus far, but Peter Schmeichel believes that could all change this time round.
The former Danish international has Germany as his pick for the tournament despite them missing out on the services of Borussia Dortmund midfielders Lars Bender and Ilkay Gundogan.
“There hasn't been that many World Cups held in South America, so that’s not really a valid point,” he said when reminded by FourFourTwo of the offending statistic on Sunday while attending Sony Mobile's Xperia Z2 event in Singapore.
“My pick (to win it) is Germany… they have so many players to pick from.
"Despite losing two of their best players, the 23 chosen players that they’re bringing are still top-quality.
“You can play anyone of them; I don’t think any other team has that strength in depth. They just look like the complete outfit.”
German football has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in recent years.
The national team has reached the semi-finals of Euro 2008, World Cup 2006 and 2010, as well reaching the final of Euro 2012.
The league has also prospered in terms of crowd and quality, with Bayern Munich and Dortmund reaching the 2013 the UEFA Champions League final.
Schmeichel believes credit has to go to former national coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the improvement.
“When Klinsmann had the team in 2006, he changed their mentality,” he said.
“He took every bit of the German thinking out, put them in a box and left it there. He used whatever good stuff that he learned in America and put them into a new box.
"What came out of that was incredible and they finished 3rd (at the tournament) with not the best team.
"He created a completely new atmosphere around the national team and that sort of sieved into the Bundesliga as well.
"Teams there now play some attractive football and it all started with him.
"Right now, Joachim Low is following in that track - even without preparation, they just look like they have the edge.”