Sports News of Tue, 15 Jul 20140
Rio success just the start for Germany
Germany's World Cup triumph was not the product of a superb month of work in Brazil, but the culmination of 10 years of ingenuity, progressive coaching and constant improvement.
Rather than the end of a project, though, Joachim Low is already looking at it as the start of a new era.
Germany had to wait 24 years between their third and fourth World Cups but you sense the gap will be shorter next time.
'We want to play like Spain' has been the mantra during la Roja's dominance of international football in recent years but now everyone will be looking to the German blueprint.
The €1 billion of investment in youth structures and centres of excellence has reaped the ultimate rewards for Germany, producing a conveyor belt of top class talents.
As if to highlight the depth of quality, the hero here at the Maracana on Sunday was Mario Gotze, a 22-year-old substitute who cost Bayern Munich €37 million and has largely been on the fringes for club and country over the past season.
He has already sealed his place in history but in the coming tournaments there will be opportunities for others.
Dominance in football so often works in cycles and there is no reason why Germany cannot emulate Spain and win successive tournaments.
Low certainly appears to be considering the possibility already.
"I think this title will give us a push for the future,” he said in his post-match press conference.
"We don't have many players in the squad above 30, but look at Gotze, [Thomas] Muller, [Mesut] Ozil and [Marco] Reus… so there are a lot of players who can still achieve a lot in their careers."
It means that Germany will be able to recycle the squad. In every position, there is a young star coming through.
For example, Germany have the best goalkeeper in the world in Manuel Neuer – winner of the Golden Glove in Brazil – and his deputies are so good that Barcelona's new goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, did not even make the World Cup squad.
The two centre-backs, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, are both 25 and should be at their peaks for the next World Cup in Russia in four years' time