As defending champions, Germany will be hoping to win the FIFA World Cup for a fifth time when the 2018 tournament gets underway in June. But what is their record like against the other teams who have qualified?

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Group opponents

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Germany’s last two meetings against their opening World Cup opponents came in the FIFA Confderations Cup. In June 2017, Leon Goretzka’s two goals in three minutes helped Joachim Löw’s side to a 4-1 victory, with Timo Werner and Amin Younes also on target either side of the most spectacular of consolation goals from Eintracht Frankfurt’s Marco Fabian.
In 2005 the sides met in the same competition in Leipzig, and after Mexico came from behind three times, the 10-man hosts eventually won out in extra-time thanks to a goal from Michael Ballack.
The countries have met three times in a World Cup before. Current Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge got a brace when West Germany beat Mexico 6-0 in a group match at the 1978 event in Argentina, but their meeting eight years later in Mexico was much tighter. There were no goals in their quarter-final tie, but Klaus Allofs, Andreas Brehme, Lothar Matthäus and Pierre Littbarski all scored from the spot as West Germany won a penalty shootout 4-1.
In 1998, the teams met again in the last 16. Luis Hernandez set Mexico on their way to what would have been a famous victory against the reigning European champions, but goals from Jürgen Klinsmann and Oliver Bierhoff in the final 14 minutes ensured that Die Mannschaft won 2-1 in Montpellier.
Mexico’s only success against Germany came in a friendly played in the Azteca Stadium back in 1985, when El Tri won 2-0.

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The world champions’ second game in Russia will see them take on familiar opposition. Despite appearances though, their record against Sweden – when it matters – is good. They have lost just once in 12 competitive games against the team that beat Italy to make this World Cup – and have never been defeated by them since reunification.
There were German wins at World Cups in 1934, 1974 and 2006 – the latter thanks to a Lukas Podolski double in Munich at the last 16 stage. Sweden’s only victory came in Gothenburg in 1958, when the host country came from behind to win 3-1 in the semi-final before being dismantled by 17-year-old Pele in the title match against Brazil.
Karl-Heinz Riedle scored twice in a memorable 3-2 win over the hosts in the semi-finals of the 1992 European Championship, while their two most recent meetings were full of goals too. In qualifying for the 2014 World Cup, Germany threw away a four-goal lead to draw 4-4 in Berlin before André Schürrle scored a hat-trick as Löw’s side came back from 2-0 down to win the reverse fixture 5-3.

South Korea
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Germany lost their most recent match against South Korea, a 3-1 away defeat in a friendly in December 2004. In the two games that had something resting on them, though, Die Mannschaft came out on top.
A brace from Klinsmann either side of a strike from Riedle saw Germany top their group in the 1994 World Cup in the USA – but only after they held off a spirited fightback to win 3-2 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
The only other World Cup meeting was even more dramatic. At the 2002 competition held in Japan and South Korea, the two sides locked horns in the semi-final in Seoul. With 65,000 watching from the stands – most of them forming a sea of red urging the hosts on – the game would be decided by one goal. There were only 15 minutes left on the clock when Ballack finished off a swift German counter at the second attempt. It was a bittersweet day for the soon-to-be Bayern Munich midfielder. He had received a yellow card just four minutes before the goal, meaning that he would be suspended for the World Cup final.

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Germany’s record against Brazil doesn’t look great on paper, and they lost 1-0 against them in a friendly in Berlin in March.
But they have met just twice in the World Cup. In the 2002 final, an unfancied German outfit were undone by two goals from Ronaldo.
Germany would get their revenge in spectacular style, however, thrashing the host country 7-1 in the 2014 World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte. Toni Kroos and Schürrle both netted twice, while Thomas Müller, Miroslav Klose and Sami Khedira also got in on the act.

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Costa Rica
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Germany have played their southern neighbours often enough, but only five times at the World Cup. They first met in the 1938 edition, when Switzerland won a replay 4-2 after a 1-1 draw first time around. In 1962, Germany won a group fixture 2-1 against the Swiss, and four years later in Sheffield Franz Beckenbauer scored twice in a 5-0 rout at the same stage.

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These sides last met in a 0-0 draw in a friendly in November 2017, but the rivalry is remembered for their five World Cup matches to date.
Germany have never been beaten over 90 minutes by England at the tournament, but did of course lose after extra-time in their first meeting. That happened to be in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley, when the hosts ran out 4-2 victors. West Germany won 3-2 after extra-time in the quarter-final in Mexico four years later, before the sides played out a 0-0 draw at the second group stage of the 1982 World Cup.
The two heavyweights drew 1-1 in the 1990 World Cup semi-final in Turin, a game West Germany ultimately won 4-3 on penalties after misses from Stuart Pearce and Chris Waddle.
The most decisive victory in their World Cup matches was their most recent game, when Germany thumped England 4-1 in a last-16 battle in Bloemfontein. Goals from Klose and Podolski in the first half, coupled with a Müller double in the second, saw Germany through.

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The sides have met eight times competitively and Germany have won every match – including the 1980 European Championship final in Rome.
They have played each other twice at the World Cup, with the two games coming sixty years apart. The Germans came from 2-1 down at half-time to win 5-2 in the last 16 of the 1934 World Cup, before Rüdi Voller’s two goals helped them win 3-2 at the same stage of the 1994 edition at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Never played against Germany.

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Never played against Germany.

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These sides have met only twice at the world’s biggest tournament. Bastian Schweinsteiger scored twice in Stuttgart as Germany sealed a third-place finish for the hosts at the 2006 event with a 3-1 win. Then a Müller hat-trick – along with a Mats Hummels goal – helped Germany kick-off an incredible 2014 World Cup campaign in Brazil with a 4-0 win in Salvador.

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Spain and Germany most recently met in a friendly in March, when Müller’s thunderbolt from distance earned the world champions a 1-1 draw in Düsseldorf. The sides first faced each other at the World Cup in 1966, when Hamburg legend Uwe Seeler got the winner as the Germans came from behind to win a group match 2-1.
Sixteen years later West Germany spoiled the party for the host country in Madrid, with Pierre Littbarski and Klaus Fischer on target in another one-goal win in the second group stage.
In 1994, Klinsmann equalised in a 1-1 draw at Soldier Field in Chicago, a result that helped the reigning world champions top their group.
The most recent meeting saw the only Spanish victory at a World Cup, when Carlos Puyol headed home from a corner with 17 minutes left in the 2010 semi-final in Durban. Spain won 1-0, and went on to win the tournament for the first time by beating the Netherlands in the final.

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One of the few countries with a winning record against Germany, France made the most of a fervent atmosphere in Marseille to emerge victorious from their Euro 2016 semi-final clash.
Antoine Griezmann scored both goals in that game, but the French record is less impressive in the World Cup. Their only victory in four meetings came in the third-place play-off in Sweden in 1958, when Just Fontaine scored four goals in a 6-3 success – bringing his tally to a record 13 for the tournament.
The most famous meeting came in the 1982 World Cup semi-final in Seville, where a collision between West Germany goalkeeper Toni Schumacher and French substitute Patrick Battiston became a talking point. France led a thrilling encounter 3-1 in extra-time, but Rummenigge and Fischer pegged them back. In the penalty shootout that followed France missed two with two of their attempts, and Horst Hrubesch converted the winning spot-kick for a 5-4 victory.
As fate would have it the sides would meet again in the semi-finals four years later, when Andreas Brehme’s early free-kick was too hot to handle in Guadalajara, before Rudi Völler sealed a 2-0 win at the death.
More recently the sides were paired together in the last 16 of the 2014 World Cup, when a thumping header from Hummels on 12 minutes was enough to give Germany victory.

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Argentina are another team that, on paper, have a good record against Germany, but they have found it a little tougher on the biggest stage. Germany won the first World Cup meeting of the sides 3-1 in 1958, before they drew their next group-stage encounter in 1966.
Argentina’s only World Cup success came in the 1986 final, when Jorge Burruchaga’s goal gave them a 3-2 victory in Mexico. But Germany would get their revenge in the 1990 decider in Rome – a late Andreas Brehme penalty sealing a third World Cup triumph.
Jens Lehmann was the hero when the sides next met at the quarter-final stage of the 2006 World Cup. After Klose forced extra-time in a 1-1 draw, former Schalke, Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart keeper Lehmann saved penalties from Roberto Ayala and Esteban Cambiasso to help Germany win the shootout 4-2.
The most comprehensive German victory came in the last eight of the 2010 World Cup, when goals from Klose (2), Müller and Arne Friedrich gave Löw’s team a devastating 4-0 win.
The most dramatic of all? Well, perhaps that was at the 2014 World Cup – the third meeting of the sides in the title match. Both teams had good chances during a tense game in Rio, but Mario Götze took his with just seven minutes left in extra-time.
The number 19 chested down a cross from fellow substitute Schürrle before instantly volleying home left-footed. Germany were champions for the fourth time in their history, and for the first time since reunification.

And the rest…

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Saudi Arabia
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