Germany are bidding to win the FIFA World Cup for a record-equalling fifth time this summer, and become the first nation to win back-to-back crowns since Brazil in 1962.

With squad players of the ilk of Marvin Plattenhardt - Jonas Hector's understudy at left-back - Die Mannschaft have every chance.

Who is he?

Plattenhardt had already made 63 Bundesliga appearances when he joined current employers Hertha Berlin from Nuremberg in summer 2014, aged 22. Injury restricted him to just 15 outings in his debut season in the capital, but he’s had the left-back berth on lockdown ever since.

Much more than your average left-back, Marvin Plattenhardt (r.) is one of the first names on the Hertha Berlin teamsheet. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Lukas Schulze

At international level, Plattenhardt has represented Germany from the U17s right through to the seniors. A 2009 U17 European champion, he earned his first full international cap against Denmark in June 2017, and turned out once in Germany's triumphant 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup campaign.

What position does he play?

Plattenhardt typically plays left-back for his club, but he has also been deployed as a left-sided midfielder, in a 3-5-2 formation, for Germany.

What was his role in qualifying?

A six-time Germany international, Plattenhardt made a 35-minute cameo in the 7-0 rout of San Marino. He enjoyed his second of four starts to date in the 3-1 win away to Northern Ireland, and also deputised for Hector in the more recent friendlies against France (2-2) and Brazil (0-1).

What to look for in Russia

Germany head coach Joachim Löw won't have too many concerns if Hector picks up a knock or suspension in Russia. Plattenhardt has long mastered the bread and butter art of defending, but his attacking play is on another level. He racked up 10 assists in the Bundesliga in 2017/18, and is a real threat from set-pieces - so much so that he ranks seventh overall for free-kick ability on football simulator FIFA 18.

Watch: Marvin Plattenhardt's dead-ball prowess

What they're saying

"I'm asked to push up as much as I can. Then all I've got to do is cross the ball or shoot." - Plattenhardt

"He's been with us a while now and played very well when called upon. He's shown himself to be a real alternative [to Jonas Hector]." - Löw

Get the lowdown on Germany's World Cup defence right here!