Joachim Low
Germany start to rebuild their battered reputation tomorrow in the opening match of the inaugural Nations League but their long road to recovery begins with perhaps the toughest of first steps with the visit of World Cup champions France.

To be held every two years, it features all 55 of Europe’s national teams divided into four divisions - Leagues A to D - that are themselves split into four groups, to be played between September and November.

The Germans, world champions in 2014, crashed out in the group stage of the World Cup in Russia in June for their earliest exit in 80 years.

Coach Joachim Low decided to stay on and has pledged has added three new players and dropped midfielders Sami Khedira and Sebastian Rudy among others.

But Low could not have picked a harder opponent than France, who are brimming with confidence after lifting their second World Cup after their 1998 success.

Boasting some of the world’s most talented players it will be France’s first game since being crowned world champions in Moscow on July 14 after a 4-2 victory over Croatia.

Italy, who did not even make it to the World Cup, will start their own road to recovery with a tie against Poland in Bologna on Friday.

World Cup semi-finalists England host Spain a day later while Switzerland take on Iceland in the other League A clash on the first matchday. - Reuters