It’s fitting that as the era of Spanish dominance in international soccer is seemingly coming to a close, we are witness to the birth of the next king.
This World Cup has been about the rise of Germany from a team that almost could, to world champions poised to dominate for years to come.
From the opening round of matches, when Germany beat down Portugal 4-0, to the extra time goal by Mario Gotze that clinched the final, it has been clear which side has been the best team in the tournament.
In between there were some scare’s, see 2-2 against Ghana and 2-1 against Algeria, but overall Germany is a deserving winner of the world’s most coveted trophy.
But with many of the stars of this World Cup still in their prime, or having yet to reach it, and a number of young superstars who didn’t get a chance to leave their mark this time around, it might be difficult to pry the trophy away from the Germans.
Standouts like Thomas Muller (24), Toni Kroos (24), Andre Schurrle (23), Mesut Ozil (25), Mats Hummels (25), Mario Gotze (22), Jerome Boateng (25) and Manuel Neuer (28) will be around for at least one, and very likely two, more World Cup’s and European Championships, making Germany the likely favorites.
Players like Julian Draxler (20), Erik Durm (20) and Matthias Ginter (20) were unused substitutes despite being some of the best players at their position in the world. Not to mention Marco Reus (25), Leon Goretzka (19), Max Meyer (18), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (22) and Kevin Volland (21) who were all, for one reason or another, left off the final 23 man roster for Germany.
“We have players right now who are playing at their peak, but we have young players also in the squad and others who aren’t even here,” manager Joachim Low said according to The Guardian. “Players with a fantastic future … they can go on to play for a number of years. We can play on top of the world for a good few years yet, with some young players coming in to reinforce the team.”
This team is already the best in the world, and is only going to get better as time goes on.
Sure some of the current superstars like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm, who were two of the best players in the tournament, will be 34 and 33 respectively in Russia. But even if they are left off the roster, don’t hold your breath on that one, the team will still be in good hands.
“I believe we, as a team, have matured,” Low said. “Over the last few months, we’ve shown what we can do and how well we can play. In the last few years we have been marching forward … This team, and German football, does have a future. I see no problems ahead.”
Unlike Spain though, this is a German national team that has grown up knowing success, rather than coming into it with a single core group of players. The Germans have finished in the top three in every World Cup since 2002, and each of the last two European Championships as well.
As for the rest of the world, teams will rise to challenge the Germans for supremacy, but as of now it doesn’t look likely.
This could be the start of a level of dominance not seen since Brazil won three of four World Cups in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. If that is the case, how ironic that it all will have started on Brazilian soil.