Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has claimed that Germany's current crop of players are just as good as the squad that won the last World Cup in 2014, revealing that the current set of players are even better in possession.

Discussing his side's prospects of retaining the trophy, via Ausburger Allgemeine, Kroos said:

"It goes without saying that players like (Bastian) Schweinsteiger, (Philipp) Lahm and (Miroslav) Klose were cornerstones for the national team. 

"I think in terms of quality, we are on par with the side from 2014, maybe even better. There's still margin for us to improve. On the ball we are better than the team in 2014."

Kroos was in excellent from for Real Madrid last season, sitting in the heart of midfield as Zinedine Zidane's side won their third Champions League trophy on the trot. The 28-year-old has been with Los Blancos since 2014, after joining from Bavarian giants Bayern Munich. Now arguably in his prime Kroos will be looking to make a big impact in Russia this summer.

Germany will certainly be among the favourites to win this year's competition, alongside the likes of 2014 hosts Brazil, and up and coming footballing force France. 

Die Mannschaft have a host of talented players in all areas of pitch, including the likes of Bayern Munich duo Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller, as well as Juventus powerhouse Sami Khedira.

Joachim Low's men will need to navigate a group containing Sweden, South Korea and Mexico, and should feel confident of topping their group and progressing into the second round. 

This would most likely see them face off against either Costa Rica, Switzerland or Serbia, but a slip up from Brazil could see the two sides meet earlier than anticipated in the tournament.


In other news, Germany midfielder Mesut Özil looks set to miss his side's opening match against Mexico, after suffering a knee injury in training. The Arsenal playmaker has been much maligned by both club and country for his perceived lack of effort in recent times, and he now faces an uphill struggle to force his way back into Low's first XI for the tournament.