Football

Teamwork is the secret to Germany's success

German skipper Lahm says World 
Cup glory not down to individuals

FINAL

GERMANY 1

(Mario Goetze 113)

ARGENTINA 0

  • After extra time

Germany captain Philipp Lahm hailed his side's collective ability as they downed Lionel Messi's Argentina 1-0 to win the World Cup for a fourth time in Rio de Janeiro this morning (Singapore time).

Substitute Mario Goetze grabbed the only goal of the game in extra time as Argentina paid for missing a host of good chances through Gonzalo Higuain, Messi and Rodrigo Palacio to take the lead.

"It's unbelievable what we have achieved. Whether we have the best individual player doesn't matter at all, you just need to have the best team," said the Bayern Munich defender.

"We improved throughout the tournament and didn't get down when things didn't always go our way, we just stuck to our path and at the end we're standing here as world champions.

"It's an unbelievable feeling. The team stayed calm and patient, we knew that we had something left at the end."

Match-winner Goetze said that he felt "unbelievable" after scoring the extra-time goal that gave Germany a 1-0 win over Argentina.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," said the Bayern Munich forward after etching his name into World Cup legend at the iconic Maracana.

"I don't know how to describe it. You just score that goal and you don't really know what's happening after that.

"It'll be a party with the whole team and the country. It's a dream come true to win the World Cup, especially in Brazil."

After replacing Miroslav Klose in the 88th minute, Goetze's historic moment arrived seven minutes from the end of extra time when he chested down a cross from Andre Schuerrle and volley ed past Sergio Romero.

It was a cathartic moment for the 22-year-old, who left his boyhood club Borussia Dortmund for Bayern last year in a 37-million-euro ($62m) transfer that rocked German football.

Goetze struggled to hold down a first-team place in his maiden campaign at Bayern and he admitted that he had endured a testing 12 months.

"It hasn't been a simple year for me or a simple tournament. I owe a lot to my family and my girlfriend (model Ann Kathrin Brommel), who always believed in me," he said.

"It's not been simple, but I am simply happy to be here. I kept on training and working hard, and we deserved this trophy."

Meanwhile, Klose revealed he told Goetze he could prove to be the match-winner when the hero of Germany's World Cup triumph replaced the veteran striker this morning.

"Before Mario came on for me, I said to him, 'You can make it happen'," revealed Klose, who became the all-time leading World Cup goalscorer by scoring his 16th goal in his fourth finals.

Klose, the only player to remain from the Germany team beaten by Brazil in the 2002 final, said the triumph more than made up for a series of near-misses.

"It's outstanding, this crowns everything," he said.

"We finished second once, were third twice, but this is world-class, I can hardly comprehend it.

"It was always a dream to once be up there (getting the trophy) and not just having to stand around and have to applaud others.

KEEP CALM

"The team's performances were important, we wanted to keep our calm because we knew we had the better quality to win it."

Poland-born Klose has almost certainly played his last World Cup but was coy about his future.

"I don't know if I will continue with the national team, I need a few nights to sleep on it and then I'll make the right decision." - Wire Services.


Before Mario came on for me, I said to him, ‘You can make it happen’.

— Miroslav Klose, who was replaced by match-winner Mario Goetze

The base of their success

MINGLE: Bastian Schweinsteiger (right) dancing with a native at their base camp in Santo Andre before the World Cup.

Germany's victory over Argentina in this morning's (Singapore time) World Cup final sparked huge parties back home, but it was also cause for celebration in a sleepy Brazilian fishing village.

Campo Bahia in Santo Andre, some 1,094 kilometres from the Germans' triumph at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium, has been attributed with forging the team spirit which carried Germany to a fourth World Cup title.

The remote, purpose-built beach resort cost around 25 million euros ($42m) and Germany's stars have been raving about the tranquil spot which allowed them to focus on bringing the title home.

"It was the perfect solution, as far as us players are concerned," said top-scorer Thomas Mueller, who scored five goals in Brazil.

"It's a totally different atmosphere to a hotel, you could really experience team life, yet everyone had their own space."

The resort was chosen to allow the squad to benefit from the secluded location, yet was only 30km from the nearest airport in Porto Seguro which was reachable only by a car-carrying ferry.

MAJOR FACTOR

"The village environment was a major factor in forging team spirit," said left back Benedikt Hoewedes.

"We got used to living together and fighting for each other on the pitch."

The usual club-based divisions which hampered Germany teams in the past were not a factor at Brazil 2014, despite the intense rivalry between players from top Bundesliga clubs Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

The squad were housed in six-bedroom units around a swimming pool area and was designed to give the players every opportunity to relax after training.

The hotel included a temporary media centre, swiftly dismantled after the team departed on Friday, and a Fifa-regulation pitch which was used to train the new world champions.

The project was initially hit by delays, but was ready when Joachim Loew's squad touched down in Brazil at the start of last month.

The resort's construction was the brain-child of an architect friend of team manager Oliver Bierhoff and was used exclusively by the German FA (DFB) during the World Cup.

Bierhoff had to smooth over local residents' initial complaints given the huge police presence which disrupted village life during the World Cup.

The DFB shipped 23 tonnes of equipment from Germany, including everything from pool tables and dart boards to their own ice machine.

Along with the 23-man squad, the resort housed around 60 support staff including coaches, technicians, medical staff, physiotherapists, two chefs and even an on-site travel agent.

"It came down to four years of preparation for nearly five weeks and this is confirmation of the hard work," said Bierhoff.

"My dream was that players had places to relax, could chat together or with the coaches next to pool, rather than be cooped up in their hotel rooms.

"Given the size of the country and the sometimes very large distances between individual venues, it was important to us to minimise travel stress as much as possible.

"When we caught the ferry back after matches, it was good to know we could switch off and relax.

"By the same token, when the team bus arrived to catch the boat back on our way to the airport for matches, we all knew it was time to switch on again."

Fifa has told the DFB it was one of the best facilities of any of the 32 teams at the World Cup.

Mario Goetze's extra-time winner this morning sparked a party amongst the Campo Bahia staff, who take pride in Germany's achievements despite Die Mannschaft's semi-final drubbing of Brazil.

And tales of when the world champions lived among them will linger long in the memory of sleepy Santo Andre's 900 residents. - AFP.

Neuer bags Golden Glove

Germany's Manuel Neuer won the World Cup Golden Glove award for the tournament's best goalkeeper after helping his side to a 1-0 win over Argentina in this morning's (Singapore time) final.

The 28-year-old Bayern Munich player was presented with the award at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium moments after the triumph.

He beat off competition from Argentina's Sergio Romero and Keylor Navas of surprise packages Costa Rica.

Neuer was beaten only four times in the tournament and kept clean sheets in the 1-0 quarter-final win over France and the victory over Argentina in the final. He succeeds Spain's Iker Casillas, who was the Golden Glove winner of World Cup 2010. - AFP.

World Cup