Germany's the team to beat at next year's World Cup
Loew has embarassment of riches with the rise of wunderkinds Goretzka and Werner
Germany's mastery of youth development can be measured with a terrifying list of names.
Manuel Neuer, Marco Reus, Thomas Mueller, Mesut Oezil, Sami Khedira, Mats Hummels, Mario Goetze and Jerome Boateng did not feature in the routine 4-1 rout of Mexico yesterday morning (Singapore time).
They will not appear in the Confederations Cup final against Chile on Monday morning. They are not in Russia. They were not needed.
For coach Joachim Loew, the kids are not all right. They are astounding, a tribute to their faultless academy system and an excoriating indictment of other countries' stuttering production lines.
Compared to Germany's incubators, the rest of the world are churning out chimps for tea parties.
Never mind the Confederations Cup final, Loew's young ones must fancy their World Cup chances next year.
Even Spain cannot match Germany's ruthless consistency for hand-rearing precocious talent, turning promising boys into tournament-ready men before they're shaving properly.
Just playing the numbers game with the side that danced past the muddled Mexicans offers hours of fun.
Leon Goretzka, Man of the Match and leading contender for Player of the Tournament, bagged a brace and conducted proceedings with such elegant grace.
He's 22 years old. And the world is already watching.
Schalke may continue the automaton's education for another season, when Bayern Munich are expected to swoop.
The Bundesliga champions see a natural successor to Arturo Vidal. The English Premier League sees the kind of refined, box-to-box midfielder that their academies rarely produce.
Loew is grooming Goretzka for the No. 8 role at next year's World Cup, but consider the midfielder's startling competition.
The imperious Toni Kroos, Marco Reus, Ilkay Guendogan, Julian Weigl, Andre Schuerrle, Emre Can and Khedira could all play in the same position.
And yet, Goretzka could arguably walk into England's first 11 now. And he's still only 22.
When he was at Bochum at 17, his then coach called Goretzka a "once-in-a-century talent", the kind of premature, hyperbolic praise that hinders, rather than helps, a rising prospect.
See Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere for more details.
LIST OF TALENT
And that's just Arsenal. The list of indigenous talent failing to live up to early hype is long in English football.
But those Teutonic teenagers appear to thrive on the pressure.
They gorge on their own expectations, channelling the hopes, dreams and demands of themselves and others to turn potential into pedigree.
The other prominent German goal-scorer was Timo Werner.
He's only 21. He's barely finished puberty and yet survived a season of being booed.
The striker scored 21 Bundesliga goals for RB Leipzig last season, but it wasn't enough to appease the purists.
Werner took a dive in December, hitting the turf in a shocking display of simulation. He won a penalty against Schalke, but lost the support of neutrals across the country.
He was booed at Bundesliga stadiums far and wide, but kept on scoring nonetheless.
Werner has earned his redemption at the Confederations Cup with three goals.
His smart movement offers Loew an actual No. 9, or a false one. Werner is adept at performing either role. He's another Die Mannschaft graduate with a tactical aptitude beyond his years, which is no coincidence.
Germany's coaching revolution has been documented at length, but it's worth reiterating the key points.
After their Euro 2000 debacle, the German Football Association (DFB), the Bundesliga and the clubs agreed that technically proficient, homegrown players would be in everyone's best interests.
So academies were created at every club across the top two divisions. Not only were kids spotted earlier, but they also received an intense, tactical education.
Taken at face value, Germany's young reserves appeared to roll the ball into the net against the hapless Mexicans, but their speed and movement were the inevitable consequence of years of tactical instruction.
Germany's counter-attacking efficiency was no fluke.
The DFB's talent development programme focuses on children aged between eight and 14. It's served by more than 1,000 part-time DFB coaches, every one of whom must hold the Uefa B licence.
Die Mannschaft leave nothing to chance.
In the semi-final yesterday morning, eight of their first 11 were 25 or younger. Lars Stindl was the oldest player at 28.
And, by the most conservative of estimates, Loew's line-up was somewhere between a B and a C team. The best were left behind.
Things can only get better for Germany. The Confederations Cup final will be viewed as a useful Russian warm-up.
When the boys are back in town next year, they'll expect to rule the world.