Germany head coach Joachim Löw has at least 50 top-class players to consider for next summer's FIFA 2018 World Cup, according to Jürgen Klinsmann.
The former Germany, Bayern Munich and USMNT boss introduced the likes of Philipp Lahm, Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger to global audiences at the 2006 World Cup, but believes the sheer volume of talent currently available to his former assistant is on an entirely different level to anything seen in world football today.
"No other country can match Germany in terms of potential between the ages of 21 and 26," Klinsmann wrote in Kicker magazine. "If you look at the two groups [at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship and the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup], only two of the 44 are over 27. That is to say: 42 are younger than 27, and 40 are younger than 26."
The fact the Germany Under-21s swept to the Euro U-21 crown with victory over Spain, as well as the senior squad making the final of the Confederations Cup, with only three 2014 World Cup winners on board in Julian Draxler, Shkodran Mustafi and Borussia Dortmund's Matthias Ginter serves as a frightening reminder of the task facing the world champions' rivals at Russia 2018. If Germany are good enough to contest silverware now, imagine what they will be capable of in a year's time.
"Experienced players such as Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil, Manuel Neuer, Ilkay Gündogan, Mario Götze, Benedikt Höwedes, Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Julian Weigl, Marco Reus and Leroy Sane are not even involved [at EURO U-21 and the Confed Cup]," Klinsmann continued. "That means Jögi Löw will be picking his World Cup squad from over 50 players."
The achievements of Germany's up-and-coming and fringe players so far this summer also underlines the incomparable efficiency of the country's acclaimed academies. Players are nurtured from an early age, before being blooded in the Bundesliga - a league synonymous with putting homegrown talent first. Löw's faith-in-youth policy is a logical upshot.
Watch: The Bundesliga's Top 5 young guns
"Obviously Löw has such a big pool to choose from thanks to the good schooling players receive at all the Bundesliga clubs," Klinsmann explained. "But the mentality of the Germany coach also has a role to play. He puts his faith in young players and gives them a chance. He experiments and allows them to make mistakes."
Not that the Germans make many of those. Winning is deeply ingrained in the German football psyche, but regardless of how Stefan Kuntz's troupe fare against Spain at the UEFA EURO U-21 championship final and where Löw's experimental brood place at the Confederations Cup, Die Mannschaft's future is glaringly bright. A successful World Cup defence is a distinct probability.