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Soccer: Germany to play Spain, Brazil in 2018 ahead of World Cup

Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will kick off 2018 with friendly internationals against Spain and Brazil as the reigning world champions prepare for their title defense at the World Cup in Russia a few months later, the German Football Association (DFB) said.

The Germans will host Spain on March 23 in Duesseldorf and then take on Brazil four days later in Berlin.

The DFB said it was a request from the team's coaching staff to secure top opponents for their few opportunities for friendly matches ahead of the World Cup.

"The matches against Spain and Brazil will certainly offer a taste of what is to come at the World Cup in Russia where the team under Joachim Loew will give everything it has to defend the title," DFB President Reinhard Grindel said.

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Germany have not yet booked their ticket for the World Cup but are top of their qualifying Group C with four wins out of four matches, five points ahead of second-placed Northern Ireland.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Alison Williams)