Chelsea star Michael Ballack has played down Germany’s chances at next year’s World Cup finals.
Germany reached the final of the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea, and were eliminated at the semi-final stage on home soil four years later.
However, Ballack believes the team are too inconsistent and that they lack the strength in depth to have much of an impact in South Africa.
“We do not have the consistency or strength in depth in the squad at the moment,” he told Kicker magazine.
“Particularly in friendly matches we have been too weak to be able to say that we have the class and routine to beat everybody else.
“You can forget about us having had the luck of the draw – we have a tough group and all three opponents are uncomfortable and physically very strong.
“We are going to have to put our foot down from the very beginning.”
Germany have been drawn to face Australia, Ghana and Serbia in Group D.