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Augenthaler: Germany can retain World Cup in Russia

World Cup winning defender Klaus Augenthaler believes Germany have the quality to defend their crown in 2018 - a feat no side has achieved since Brazil in 1962.

Germany became the first European nation to win the World Cup on South American soil in 2014 as they beat Argentina 1-0 in the final in Rio de Janeiro.

A lot has changed since then following the retirements of captain Philipp Lahm and inspirational midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, while Lukas Podolski bowed out with a goal in Wednesday's 1-0 friendly win against England.

But the emergence of Leroy Sane, Julian Weigl, Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule and Timo Werner has former Bayern Munich captain Augenthaler - who won the World Cup with West Germany in 1990 - believing Joachim Low's men can go back-to-back in Russia next year.

"A lot of Germany's young players have quality," Augenthaler told Omnisport.

"I think they have a good chance of winning the World Cup."

Germany are expected to reach next year's tournament as they top Group C in European qualifying.

The World Cup titleholders are five points clear atop the standings ahead of their trip to minnows Azerbaijan on Sunday.

"There are very, very good players in Germany and the national team," added Augenthaler.

"In Europe, two or three teams have the same quality.

"But it will be interesting to see where Germany stand at the World Cup in 2018."