Argentina legend Diego Maradona has warned Germany that the climate in Brazil could scupper their 2014 FIFA World Cup ambitions.
Germany have reached the final of the World Cup on seven occasions, winning the tournament in 1954, 1974 and 1990.
Joachim Low’s team are expected to be among the contenders to reach the latter stages in Brazil later this year after going unbeaten in their qualifying campaign.
European club football has recently been dominated by Bayern Munich, who won the FIFA Club World Cup back in December and remain in contention to retain the UEFA Champions League title they won last season against Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Maradona has been surprised by the development of the German game in recent years and thinks Low’s side are among the favourites to win the World Cup.
“Germany are as strong as ever and one of the favourites for the World Cup, that didn’t change. But there is one difference: Today you can see great games in Germany,” he told Sport Bild.
“Football made a big step forward there. It’s more entertaining and not only tackles and long balls anymore. German football is fun now.”
However, all three of Germany’s group-stage games against Portugal, Ghana and United States are to be played in north-eastern Brazil, where humidity is expected to be high.
And 53-year-old Maradona, who guided Argentina to victory in the 1986 final against Germany, believes the conditions could have a significant impact on their fortunes.
He added: “If they (Germany) can’t adapt to the climate, they’ll just be a team like any other.”