Hummels praises Germany's togetherness

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Mats Hummels is currently preparing for his fourth major tournament with Germany, yet even for the seasoned defender, he experienced something new on Tuesday morning when the FIFA doping team arrived unannounced at the team’s training camp in South Tyrol. “I’ve never see the whole team be tested before,” the 29-year-old announced at a press conference.

All 27 players had to provide blood and urine samples. “That wasn’t anything special except that it cost us some sleep,” grinned Hummels when speaking of the event at 7am. However, this early start had no impact on the morning’s training. “We’re a real unit with plenty of quality,” Hummels enthused. “There’s a good atmosphere and great willingness to work.”

Neuer and Boateng making progress

Manuel Neuer was also fully involved in that session, and Andreas Köpke is optimistic that the captain will be fit for the World Cup. “I’ve got no worries right now,” Germany’s goalkeeping coach declared. “The foot is fully healed. I see no difference to before. It’s like it never happened.” It means Neuer will play in Saturday’s friendly against Austria. “That’s the real test. Manuel needs these games now,” Köpke continued. After that the coaching staff with decide with Neuer “whether he goes or not”.

Germany must announce their final squad by 4 July, and Köpke is also optimistic that Jerome Boateng will be included after his individual fitness session on Tuesday. “Boateng is on track, able to cope with a greater workload, which is constantly increasing.” It should mean the 29-year-old will feature in the heart of Germany’s defence alongside Hummels – as they do at Bayern.

“Familiarity on the pitch us always important,” stressed Hummels, who goes into the tournament in Russia as defending champion for the first time in his career. And he does not see that role as a hinderance but as one to play up to. “We’re one of the best teams. We’ve got real quality, the desire and morale to win it,” he announced confidently. “Form and luck on the day have to play their part though,” the defender added.

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