Going into this year’s Confederations Cup in Russia, Germany were favorites looking at the pool and the competition, but when they announced their squad, everyone was shocked at the team selection and started to tip Chile or Portugal for ultimate glory.
They however saw off the threats of Mexico and La Roja– who have experienced players within their ranks, to win the tournament.
Germany’s pool of talent doesn’t surprise me anymore as they have the best players in almost every position possible and it’s not even fair. Just looking at the goalkeeping department, Bayer Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno had a terrible game in the opener against Australia, as he made two errors that allowed the Socceroos to score.
Germany still won 3-2 but Joachim Low had Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Paris Saint Germain’s Kevin Trapp as replacements.
After the 2006 World Cup which Die Mannschaft hosted on home soil, I thought they were done, since I couldn’t see obvious replacements for their squad. Fast forward to 2010 and we saw the rise of Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira and the likes in South Africa.
They were not household names in football then, all very young and just starting their careers but their performance is still one of my best World Cup teams to watch.
What then makes Germany so peculiar and efficient?
The German scheme is based on youth development, grooming young players to take over from old ones. As one team passes away and you think they’ll lose their grip on world football, they come at you with even more talent.
It’s so ridiculous that Germany’s bench at this Confederations Cup is better than 80% of national teams in the world. Some names on the team like Bayer Leverkusen’s Julian Brandt would waltz into any starting lineup in the world and yet can’t make the first team.
Germany has not finished outside the top three of any major footballing tournament since 2002. That’s playing at the highest levels of football for close to 15 years.
Did they do it with the same players? No, but it’s the same culture that makes them achieve these results, which no other team within this same span can boast.
Die Mannschaft have always come short but now the results of this scheme is showing everywhere. World Cup winners in 2014, Euro U-21 winners in 2017 and now Confederations Cup winners. This evidently cuts across all age groups which shows how dominant they’ve become.
With Joachim Low deciding to give the regulars a break, this was an opportunity for the young lads to cut their teeth on the world stage without any pressure.
Indeed the average age of this squad was 23 years so Low might have been expecting a good outing in the Confederations Cup but certainly not to win. Julian Draxler at 23 years was the captain and he already has 35 caps under his belt.
Very few players can beat that.
Now we have a taste of the new generation and I’m excited. It’s the era of the Die Mannschaft. With the Confederations Cup already in the bag, nothing is stopping Germany form retaining the World Cup in Russia next year.
Is Germany the undisputed king of world football? Lets how your thoughts in the comments box below.
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