The biggest tournament in football finished yesterday with a Germany win after wonderkid Götze scored in extra time. During the tournament fans began to see a new model Germany emerge. What exactly has this team actually achieved and how was the new era of German Football created?
What's been achieved?
To begin with Germany's players received big accolades during the 2014 tournament. Where, Manuel Neuer won the Golden Glove for being the best keeper in the tournament and Miroslav Klose got the record number of goals scored at the World Cup finals with 16. Collectively Germany attained even more than their individual talents after winning the World Cup beating Algeria, France, thrashing Brazil and beating Argentina on their way there. The World Cup win also signalled two more significant records.
- Germany were the first European side to win in South America
- Won their first World Cup since Germany re-unified.
So what was it that caused the team to be this successful?
Germany's new era football:
Of post WW2 Germany, only one team won the World Cup of course that was West Germany. West Germany won the World Cup three times (1954,1974 & 1990). The 1954 side consisted of two players born outside Germany, Josef Posipal (born in Romania) & Richard Herrmann (born in Poland). The next World Cup winning team 1974 consisted of only one player born outside Germany, Herbet Wimmer (born in Eupen, Belgium). The 1990s team had no player born outside West Germany, but why does all this matter?
In the 1990s German society became more cosmopolitan and German cities and villages could see a new modern society emerging from post-cold war turbulences. This created an opportunity for German established football schools to get in contact with new players, coming to the country thanks to the fast growing economy.
Team Germany was the opposite to West Germany teams as it's more dynamic and diversified. Training techniques and the emotional approach nowadays is different. You could see this in Joachim Löw's expressions as he was definitely expressing himself less enthusiasticly than his players and you could even say the World Cup win barely put a smile on his face.
The 2014 World Cup winning side consisted of several players from different backgrounds. The old West Germany would not be able to have the likes of: Toni Kroos ( East Germany), Miroslav Klose (Poland), Lukas Podolski (Poland), Mesut Özil (Turkish decent), Sami Khedira (Tunisian descent) and Jerome Boateng (Ghana descent). Once Germany became re-unified they signified a shift towards a new style by inviting those with with different cultural backgrounds to study the game in Germany. This was achieved mainly through football schools such as the "Gesamtschule Berger Feld" which was attended by Manuel Neuer,Mesut Ozil, Benedikt Höwedes and Julian Draxler.
This encouraged a new mixture of footballing styles and teamwork. Which was displayed wonderfully throughout the tournament as the Germans showed their team spirit which shone, compared with sides that were relying on one or two players. Should the German model be emulated to encourage international success? Or has their formula been and gone (already!) with new development strategies already waiting to beat them?
We may learn soon about another country which is facing similar to challenges to Germany. Recently in China they've built the biggest football school in the world with 2400 pupils (due to be expanded to 10,000) and they've employed 20 coaches from Spain to create a dream team which will be able to put China on the football map. However when Telegraph reporters interviewed Spanish coaches working with the kids they said they've seen very similar behaviour and this is what they need to address, as each position on the field needs a special set of qualities and a mixture of physical attributes. The German way of dealing with their sterotypical defensive approach and was opening to their new modern society and adopting characters of people who may not necessarily be play the German way. For a long time Brazil, Italy and Holland had an almost universal monopoly to make their teams as diverse as possible. Getting players from different backgrounds to play in their national teams which produced 5 championships for Brazil, 4 championships for Italy and 3 runners up places for Holland perhaps making them the most consistent teams in history.
The funny conclusion out of this research is "is this a possible future for China?" - Are the Chinese going to open their borders to gather more talent from other countries? Their growing economy and aspirations to win the Word Cup are huge..Only time will tell?