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Sunday 22 October 2017

My money is on the Germans

Thomas Mueller. Picture: Matthias Schrader/AP
Thomas Mueller. Picture: Matthias Schrader/AP

IRELAND'S World Cup hero Packie Bonner believes that the 2014 trophy in Brazil will be taken back to Europe - with Germany the most likely winners.

A European nation has never won the World Cup in South America but Bonner, who played in two finals tournaments for Ireland, reckons that the Germans can make history, with Belgium also a dark horse for the Donegal man.

"I think Germany have a real chance this time," said Bonner, speaking in Dublin yesterday to publicise a golf classic on August 22 in aid of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Ireland.

"If any European team is going to do it I think this is the time to probably do it, particularly if the conditions are right. You never know how the conditions will change out there. I think for the very first time a European team could win it outside Europe.

"Germany have a chance, and the mystique I think is gone from the South Americans. When we came up against them we'd never seen these guys and they played the game differently.

"Germany probably don't have a star player. They're all very confident players and Thomas Muller has been fantastic, his fitness levels. They don't have a Messi or a Neymar but they're strong all-round.

"I think Neuer at the back, he's like a sweeper now. He's adapted what he does under Guardiola at Bayern Munich into the national team."

He added: "I tipped Brazil at the start but if you take Neymar out of it, where else is going to be the winner for Brazil?

"You've got to say that Belgium almost have the momentum going. Eden Hazard hasn't played but he will come good. They've got such a strong bench so they can change a little bit. So I think Belgium have a chance."

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