Germany's main goal to retain World Cup, Bierhoff says
Germany are aiming to use this month's Confederations Cup as preparation for their defence of the World Cup, according to team manager Oliver Bierhoff.
Mario Gotze's extra-time goal in the final against Argentina saw Germany claim the biggest prize in international football three years ago in Brazil.
Their crown will be on the line next year in Russia, which is staging the Confederations Cup this month as a prelude to the quadrennial FIFA showcase event.
Drawn against Chile, Cameroon and Australia, who are Germany's first opponents in Sochi on Monday, Bierhoff, scorer of the golden goal in the Euro 96 final against Czech Republic, made his team's priorities clear at a press conference.
"The main goal is to win the FIFA World Cup again in 2018," he said.
"It's an important tournament from a sporting view," he added, referring to the Confederations Cup.
"Once you're here, you want to win and give a good impression.
"The [training] complex is exceptional. Everything is well organised. We have optimal training conditions."
Asian Cup holders Australia, meanwhile, who earned a 2-2 draw in a friendly against Germany in March 2015, have improved in Bierhoff's estimation.
"They're no longer a side that just play the long ball," he said.
"I'll leave the analysis to [head coach] Jogi [Low] though."
Germany have selected a relatively inexperienced squad for the competition, with Bayer Leverkusen attacker Julian Brandt among those hoping to impress ahead of the World Cup.
"We want to score as many goals as possible and come away from each game with a positive result," he said.
"The Confederations Cup offers a chance for us to leave a lasting impression."
The 21-year-old is hopeful the presence of retired great Miroslav Klose on the coaching staff can serve him well in Russia this month.
"There's a lot Miro can teach me, as I'm not yet turning enough of my chances into goals," Brandt said.
Joshua Kimmich echoed the sentiments of Brandt, saying: "It's a wonderful opportunity to showcase ourselves. Playing for Die Mannschaft is always a huge honour."
Of a former Bayern Munich team-mate, who retired from club football to great fanfare at the end of the season, he added: "Philipp Lahm is an absolute legend. I can learn a lot from him, but I want to make my own journey."