German World Cup winner Gunter Netzer says it would be "unforgiveable" for Germany not to make it through their group in Brazil next summer.
Under Joachim Low, Germany have made the semi-finals at least in their last three major tournaments and many, Netzer included, are now expecting the "next step" to arrive.
That would mean winning the title in South America, and having set the bar so high, Netzer believes falling short of at least the last 16 would be an embarrassment.
"It would be unforgiveable," he said on the website of the German Football Association (DFB).
"Even a quarter-final defeat would be disappointing. Now is the time for the next step to be taken."
Netzer won the World Cup in 1974, since then Germany were crowned World Champions again in 1990, but they have not won a major tournament since triumphing at Euro 1996 in England.
Rarely have the expectations been as high as they are now, though, as Low's men cruised through qualifying unbeaten.
"It's a compliment to this whole team that they are expected to play at such a high level and be successful," added Netzer, who does not feel the level of expectation will weigh them down.
The expectations are also high that Bayern Munich will become the first side to defend their Champions League title in May, and Netzer believes they have the strength in depth to break that duck.
"They have such strong foundations that, even when they pick up injuries, no huge hole opens up in terms of the team's quality," Netzer said.