BERLIN: Germany captain Philipp Lahm has said winning the next World Cup must be his team's sole aim when they start their Brazil 2014 qualifying campaign against minnows Faroe Islands on Friday.
Germany play host in Hanover, but having suffered the disappointment of losing the Euro 2012 semi-final to Italy in June, Bayern Munich's Lahm says winning the World Cup can be his country's only goal.
“After what has happened in the past, our goal can only be to become world champions in 2014,” said Lahm, who will play at right-back for Germany against Faroe Islands with Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer on the left.
“We can't stand here and say we want to reach the quarter-finals. No. We want to win the World Cup.”Lahm admitted he was still bitter about his team's 2-1 defeat to the Azzurri which ended their bid to lift their first major title since 1996.
“We were missing something. This was a really bitter defeat,” he said.
“I still believe that we had a great shot at the title.”Lahm admitted Germany's biggest obstacle to winning the next World Cup, presuming they qualify from Group C, is to break Spain's stranglehold having won both Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 on top of their 2010 World Cup triumph.
“We also have some bad luck that we currently have Spain, who are a team of the century, ahead of us,” admitted Lahm. Germany host Faroe Island on Friday without Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos, who has a bruised hip, then face Austria in Vienna on Tuesday.
“(Kroos) will not be available on Friday night,” confirmed Germany's assistant coach Hansi Flick on Thursday with Kroos expected to train with the team on Saturday.
Germany are without Bayern pair striker Mario Gomez and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who are recovering from injuries. Lazio's veteran Miroslav Klose is expected to start as the lone striker and is just four short of Gerd Mueller's 38-year-old record of 68 goals for his country.