Bierhoff says Germany need to take next big step to stay competitive

German football will need to undertake major steps to remain competitive globally, team manager Oliver Bierhoff said yesterday, ahead of their friendly against Spain on Saturday morning (Singapore time).

Along with the World Cup they won in 2014, the Germans also clinched last year's Confederations Cup title and are Under-21 European champions. But, Bierhoff said changes were needed to remain at the top.

"I am convinced good work is being done in German football, we are Confederations Cup winners, Under-21 European champions, but we cannot only look at this generation," the former Germany striker said.

"We have to look at the development. You don't have to be an expert to see that we need to take the next big step. We need to take a big step united.

"We must be able to react quicker to things. We must give the coaches information, guidelines and pointers to react to certain things."

Head coach Joachim Loew earlier said Bundesliga clubs were teaching players to play against the ball too much and not what to do when they have possession.

The four-time World Cup winners overhauled the youth training system after disappointing results at the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.

The Germans, who play Brazil four days after Saturday's match with Spain, have been drawn in Group F at the World Cup in Russia, along with Mexico, South Korea and Sweden. - REUTERS