Germany’s blend of players from different cultures has put it on course for a fourth World Cup title, according to former Germany great Franz Beckenbauer.

Eleven of Germany’s 23 players would have been eligible to play for different countries.

They include Polish-born forwards Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. Playmaker Mesut Oezil has Turkish roots.

“The style they are playing is surprising everybody, even in Germany,” Beckenbauer said. “I hope they continue. They have a good chance of winning the World Cup.”

Beckenbauer won the World Cup as a player and coach and said the players born outside Germany had brought a different dimension to the team’s traditional style of discipline and teamwork.

Germany faces Spain in the semifinals on Wednesday in Durban.

“The target is to win the World Cup but there are two games left and I think Spain is more difficult than England or Argentina,” Beckenbauer said. “You can always count on the German team. They are always very organized with a fighting spirit.”

He said the current side represented the change in the German population.

“This World Cup is a good opportunity for the team to show the world how well a German team can do and what an impressive game they can play,” he said. “So far it’s been very, very impressive.

“There are players that are not born in the country but of course they have German passports and maybe that’s another reason the German team is playing so well.”

Beckenbauer praised German coach Joachim Loew for trusting in a promising batch of young players.

“He was brave enough to give the young players the chance to challenge and play in the German national team,” Beckenbauer said, calling for Loew’s contract as German coach to be extended.

“It would be wonderful if he could continue his work,” Beckenbauer said. “His contract is finished but everybody would like to have him with the team.

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