Franz Beckenbauer, who earlier in the week was pessimistic about Germany’s prospects at the World Cup, now believes that the hosts can win the tournament.

“There is no question that Germany can win the World Cup,” said the president of Germany’s World Cup organising committee.

“They are a young if inexperienced team and their strength lies in the support they need and surely will get from the home crowd,” he told Reuters.

“I am optimistic that Jurgen Klinsmann will be able to put together a very good team for the World Cup and because of the home advantage, Germany can win it,” he said.

Beckenbauer has been involved in a verbal spat with Klinsmann after the coach did not attend a workshop for World Cup bosses in Dusseldorf.

Klinsmann, who has come under growing pressure since a 4-1 defeat by Italy last week, had returned to his home in California instead of attending the workshop.

Beckebauer tipped defending champions Brazil as the team to beat.

“There are many good teams and players in the competition but if I had to choose one, I would say Brazil is the favourite after an impressive Confederations Cup campaign in Germany last year and a 4-1 win against Argentina in the final,” he added.

“At the moment, it looks like Ronaldinho could be the best player of the World Cup. He is an excellent player while the young Argentinian Leo Messi could be the surprise package.”

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