BERLIN: Defending champions Germany have confirmed they will play Saudi Arabia in a World Cup warm-up match in June.
News of the fixture with the World Cup holders emerged last month but the German Football Association confirmed on Monday that the game will take place in Leverkusen on Thursday, June 8 — just six days before Saudi Arabia kick off their World Cup campaign against hosts Russia on June 14.
It be only the third time the two countries have met and the first since Germany thrashed the Green Falcons 8-0 at the 2002 World Cup. Miroslav Klose scored a hat-trick that day. The other meeting took place in Riyadh in February 1998 when goals from Andreas Möller, Thomas Helmer and Olaf Marschall sunk Carlos Alberto Perreira’s side 3-0.
Germany also have friendlies against Austria, Spain and Brazil as they prepare for life in Group F alongside Mexico, Sweden and South Korea.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, have left no stone unturned in their preparations and they will play at least six friendlies before their World Cup opener.
SAUDI ARABIA’S FRIENDLIES
Feb. 26: Moldova (H)
Feb. 28: Iraq (A)
Mar. 23: Ukraine (in Spain)
Mar. 28: Belgium (in Spain)
Apr. 9 (TBC)
May. 15 (TBC)
May 28 Italy (TBC)
June 3: Peru (venue TBC)
June 8: Germany (A)
Stage one: Jan. 21-27 in Saudi Arabia
Stage two: Feb. 21-27 in Saudi Arabia followed by a friendly in Iraq
Stage three: Mar 15-27 in Spain, including friendlies against Ukraine and Belgium
Stage four: End of April until May 15 in Spain
Stage five: May 19 to World Cup in Europe