Sports News of Thu, 17 Jul 20142
Bundesliga is the real World Cup winner - Hitzfeld
The 65-year-old, who coached Switzerland at the tournament in Brazil, feels the German league's reputation was enhanced a great deal by its players performances in the summer
Former Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund coach Ottmar Hitzfeld claims the Bundesliga were the real winners of the World Cup.
Germany emerged from the competition as world champions after Bayern youngster Mario Gotze netted an extra-time winner to beat Argentina.
Players from the Bundesliga scored more goals at the World Cup than any other league in the world, while the German first division had the most players in Sunday's final as well.
The now-retired manager, who won domestic and European titles with Bayern and Dortmund, believes the nation's league emerged as the best league in the world after Brazil 2014.
"In my view there's one winner in particular - the Bundesliga," Hitzfeld told Bundesliga.com.
"It was Bundesliga players in particular that were great in Brazil. Even the Premier League and Primera Division's [La Liga] stars couldn't keep up."
A total of six players from German clubs were included in Fifa's Castrol Index Top 11, including five from Bayern, and Hitzfeld said the Bavarian club enhanced their reputation further in Brazil.
"There were more Bayern players at this World Cup than from any other club," the 65-year-old said.
"It wasn't only their German players who did well though. Look at Arjen Robben's displays for Netherlands, he showed his great form in every single game.
"Daniel van Buyten and Xherdan Shaqiri also did very well for Belgium and Switzerland respectively.
"They're all crucial players for their countries. Bayern's players scored by far the most goals in Brazil, which tells you they're the most important players in world football."
Hitzfeld also feels Joachim Low's side were the deserved winners of the tournament in South America.
"None of the other sides were able to keep up with Germany," the former Switzerland coach said.
"The pressure was on them and the team had a lot to lose as for some of the players it was possibly their last chance to clinch the World Cup.
"This side has matured and showed they were ready. Their quality is huge, it was their turn to win it."