With Germany winning the 2014 World Cup this new generation have been described as one of the best groups of players to emerge from a broken great. It’s been a long final free 12 years for Germany, who were World Cup runners up in 2002. The winning goal for Germany showed the start of a new generation, created by Schurrle and finished by Gotze, the two players made their debut together in 2010 and were the first two players from reunified Germany to play for the German national team. The world cup winning side also saw the end of a politically driven era for Germany as Bayern Munich’s Toni Kroos became the first player from East-Germany to win the World Cup.
Why did they win?
It’s often assumed that the World Cup winners are the most ruthless and the stand-out team of the tournament. This was definitely the case in 2010 when the Spain team were rampant throughout after a reality check against Switzerland. This year’s World Cup seems almost divided in terms of style. The group matches saw free scoring teams and an almost unpredictable amount of goals. Germany vs Brazil and Netherlands vs Brazil aside the knock-outs were low scoring in comparison. No one dominated the rest and no one team looked as if they would coast through to the final. The only time anyone really stood out was when Germany were in front of goal. If a team were willing to give them a chance – they’d take it. Ghana learnt this the hard way in the group stages. Finding themselves 2-1 up an Andre Ayew mistake led to the Germans pulling it back to 2-2. The clinical finishing was what really made Germany stand out as worthy winners at this tournament. In their 7-1 win over Brazil Germany had 14 shots compared to the hosts 18. Germany had 12 of those on target over half of which managed to end up in the back of the net. Brazil had 13 shots on target and only managed to find a break after Mesut Ozil fired wide for Germany leading to a Brazilian counter. Brazil also had two per cent more possession than Germany.
A new generation
Around 50 per cent of Bundesliga minutes have been played by German players and the 2013 Champions League final was an all German affair when Borussia Dortmund faced Bayern Munich. Bayern won the match 2-1. This was the German teams really announcing themselves to the global market, they were here as a super power. Sadly for Dortmund a bail out almost a decade ago sees Bayern essentially cherry pick their best players. Whilst this might not be good news for Dortmund it sure benefits the national team. Players like Gotze have to make a name for themselves at other clubs before making their step up to the top clubs. Not only this the German system relies on the use of the loan market as well as reserve clubs. German captain Philipp Lahm played two seasons for reserve side Bayern II before moving to Bundesliga side VFB Stuttgart for another two seasons to establish himself as a top side player. Before making their step into the big time the German players establish themselves and are proven, this essentially stops a talent vacuum in which the top sides take the youngsters and hope they develop before releasing those who aren’t quite deemed good enough.
Who impressed you most at the 2014 World Cup? Can we learn from Germany? Image: Wikimedia Commons