Die Homepage wurde aktualisiert. Jetzt aufrufen.
Hinweis nicht mehr anzeigen.

World Cup Triumph: Germany Earned It

A Commentary By

Photo Gallery: Party in Maracanã Photos
Getty Images

Over the past eight years, Germany has worked hard to transform its football team. Sunday night's dramatic extra-time World Cup win shows that, while you can never plan for good luck, hard work and doggedness will go a long way in fostering it.

Perhaps this was the goal Jürgen Klinsmann was picturing when he spoke about Germany winning the World Cup back in July 2004, when he was being introduced as Germany's new head coach. During Sunday's World Cup finale, Mario Götze was running full speed as he hit the ball with his chest and turned to shoot it into the net. It was a technically brilliant, fast, goal that was as spectacular as the new German football Klinsmann had imagined.

When Klinsmann spoke in 2004, the prospect of winning the trophy sounded as believable as a tobacco ad. But now Germany is world champion, and German football has been given a completely new face.

Rarely has an objective been pursued with such consistency as Germany's fourth World Cup trophy. Klinsmann and his successor, Joachim Löw, prepared the team with the same doggedness and thoroughness for five big football events. Again and again, Team Manager Oliver Bierhoff fostered the best outside conditions for a German win. Head Scout Urs Siegenthaler obsessively traveled to Germany's World Cup and European Championship opponents, not only to study their game, but also their mentality. The Germans lost four times.

But those looking for progress could see it. In 2006, the team's game was raw, wild, unpolished. Spectacular wins were always as likely as spectacular defeat (in extra time against Italy). In 2010, the team had progressed, but still wasn't mature enough for the title. On good days it could win against England and Argentina, but didn't have enough experience or self-confidence to beat Spain. Along the way there was the European Championship loss against the overpowering Spaniards in 2008 and the European Championship loss against the clinical Italians in 2012.

Photo Gallery

19  Photos
Photo Gallery: Germany Becomes Football's King

This World Cup boasted the best German team of the Löw era. The winning team was made up of great players -- tactically flexible, physically robust, technically brilliant -- with a game that is dominating, powerful, direct and, when it needs to be, patient. It's not always beautiful -- it's the way it needs to be. It's no coincidence that the finale against Argentina included a bloodied Sebastian Schweinsteiger, a Mats Hummels stricken by cramps and an artful Götze, who's been called the "German Messi." It's the perfect mixture of rule-abiding and ambitious football, of hurrah and heave ho.

Given that Germany won the World Cup finale in extra time with the goal of the year, luck also played a factor in their win. But the lead up to that moment demonstrates that you can create luck through hard work. Löw and his team have earned their triumph.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the German team after it won the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Zoom

German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the German team after it won the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Discuss this issue with other readers!
9 total posts
Show all comments
    Page 1    
1. congratulations
eduardo.saura1 07/14/2014
congratulations for the winning
esturla 07/14/2014
OH MY! German victors of a World Cup celebrate with a Budweiser?!! The world must be coming to an end!
3. german victory
turnipseed 07/14/2014
It is good for Germans to see that marching to military victory is not the only or the best way to gain respect and approval.
4. across the pond-
lol1232 07/15/2014
My Aunt in her 80's was so excited about the win that she called her time 11:00pm to tell me Germany won the world cup and the jubilation is contagious and ALL of Germany is proud!...then added "you are half German too, I wish you could be here!". Vielen Dank Tante und Prost!!!
5. Be objective
emarzolini 07/15/2014
Congrats from Argentina. I think Germany was the most consistent performance and this paid off. But, don`t confuse yourselves. Argentina had more clear goal opportunities and one obvious penalty not given. Sometimes luck helps and this was one of those cases.
Show all comments
    Page 1    

All Rights Reserved
Reproduction only allowed with the permission of SPIEGELnet GmbH

International Newsletter
Sign up for our newsletter -- and get the very best of SPIEGEL in English sent to your email inbox twice weekly.