Defender out of position comfortable facing Messi

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm •  Published: July 10, 2014
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PORTO SEGURO, Brazil (AP) — For a man about to face one of the game's most prolific scorers, Benedikt Hoewedes is remarkably calm and composed ahead of the World Cup final.

Even more so considering he'll be playing out of his usual position.

Hoewedes has been used as left back by Germany coach Joachim Loew during the tournament and the Schalke defender is likely to be the one assigned to stopping Argentina star Lionel Messi's runs on the right wing.

"I'll do my part, but it will be a collective effort. That's how even a player of such quality can be stopped," Hoewedes said Thursday.

Hoewedes already has had to deal with another scoring sensation, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Ronaldo was held scoreless and Germany won its World Cup opener 4-0.

Usually a center back, Hoewedes has defied skeptics with his performances at the tournament.

"Since we are in the final, I must have done something right," said Hoewedes, one of the three Germany players to have played every minute of the tournament. The other two are goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and captain Philipp Lahm.

The position of left back has been considered the weak link in Germany's team for years. Loew has tried several players in the position and even complained once that "I can't cut a left back out of wood" when none met his standards.

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