Confederations Cup experience can help Germany in Russia, says Kimmich
Joshua Kimmich believes Germany's triumph at the Confederations Cup stands them in good stead to defend their World Cup title.
Brazil were the last side to successfully win consecutive tournaments in 1962, but Germany are again counted among the favourites after lifting the trophy in South America four years ago.
Joachim Low's side claimed the Confederations Cup title last year, too, despite naming a relatively inexperienced side as a number of key players were given time to rest.
And while victory in that competition - also held in Russia - has not necessarily pointed to World Cup finals success in the past, Kimmich is confident it has boosted Germany's chances.
"It is very hard to win the World Cup twice in a row, but we have a big belief we can do well again," Kimmich said, as quoted by the Guardian. "Last year helped us believe even more.
"Back home, in Germany, the Confederations Cup was not so high in the ranking [of importance] for most people. But at the end, I think everybody was watching our games and they also liked our team. They liked the fact we were young but full of fight.
"Now we are back for a much bigger tournament. The World Cup is much more special, of course, and it's my first time, but I feel ready. Now we need to make even better memories."
As one of the more experienced players to be involved in the Confederations Cup squad, Kimmich also felt the tournament aided his personal development.
"[Being a leader] is something you grow into," he said.
"I knew I was one of the players who had more international games than the others, but that didn't matter. The only important thing is your performance.
"If you perform well then you get the respect of your team-mates. At this Confederations Cup, I felt like a leader.
"It was good because when you are young and you play in the national team or with team-mates at Bayern Munich, you are next to players bigger than you. They have achieved much more and it's easy to let them lead.
"But at the Confederations Cup, it was important I played a leader's role."