Joachim Loew believes Germany’s World Cup final victory is a stepping stone to further honours and a tribute to the way their domestic game is run. Loew masterminded Germany’s extra-time victory over Argentina at the Maracana on Sunday night, late substitute Mario Gotze claiming the only goal of their 1-0 success with only seven minutes left on the clock.
If they weren’t already, Germany are the team to beat heading into Euro 2016 qualifying in September after a series of eye-catching displays in Brazil, most notably the 7-1 win over the hosts at the semi-final stage. And it is a relatively young squad Loew has at his disposal, with only Miroslav Klose—who is likely to retire from international football on a high-- and third-choice keeper Roman Wiedenfeller over the age of 30.
“I think this title will give us a push for the future, we don’t have many players in the squad above 30,” Loew said. “Look at Goetze, (Thomas) Mueller, (Mesut) Ozeil and (Marco) Reus, who wasn’t here-- there are a lot of players who can still achieve a lot in their careers.
“The Bundesliga has a huge influence on the team and the training the young players get; we had an extremely young team in South Africa in 2010. In 2000 and 2004, German football was down and out, we went out in the group phases so we took decisive steps and invested more in the players’ education.
“It wasn’t enough just to rely on German virtues, we had to get better on the pitch. We created centres of excellence and I am grateful for the clubs who did that, this World Cup victory is a product of the excellent education and training in Germany.”
Loew also revealed he took Goetze aside during the break of extra-time and the 22-year-old, who had come off the bench, scored a brilliant volley to break Argentinian hearts. Loew said of Goetze: “He is a miracle boy, a boy wonder—he can play in any position. I know he is always able to decide a match and he’s scored a great winner. I said to him, ‘okay shown to the world that you are better than Messi and that you can decide the World Cup’. I had a good feeling about him.”
Goetze hailed the World Cup victory as “absolutely sensational”. Goetze, who had had a difficult season at Bayern Munich, said: “It is an unbelievable feeling, you just score that goal and you just don’t really know what’s happening. “It’s indescribable, you are having a party with the team, with the country, the dream has become a reality. It is absolutely sensational.”
Goetze, who began the World Cup in Germany’s starting line-up before being dropped to the bench, added: “It hasn’t been an easy year for me and it wasn’t an easy tournament. I owe a lot to my family, my girlfriend, and my friends who have always believed in me. It was not been easy but I simply kept on training with the team and every single player deserves to be named - we deserved this trophy.”
Loew also expressed his pride at Germany becoming the first country to win a World Cup in north, central or south America. He added: “This is the result of many years’ work beginning with Jurgen Klinsmann and we continued that. Over the years we have been able to improve our performance and it has been 10 years of tough preparation.
“The players have a marvellous technical ability and the will-power to carry it out. We are proud to win it here in Brazil, the footballing country par excellence, and to be the first European team to win in Latin America.”