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What made Germany click, secret revealed...

Last updated on: July 14, 2014 09:06 IST

What made Germany click, secret revealed...

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Germany's World Cup victory on Sunday was not just down to 50 days of good preparation for the tournament but was the culmination of a meticulously-planned long-term project, coach Joachim Loew said.

PHOTOS: Super Mario stunner guides Germany to World Cup glory

Loew, who took over from Juergen Klinsmann in 2006 after their third-place finish at the World Cup in Germany, said were it not for the team's first-round exits in earlier tournaments their fourth World Cup win may have been delayed.

"I think that we were 50 days together but this is a project we started 10 years ago," the 54-year-old said after his team Argentina 1-0 in the final.

"We started it with Juergen Klinsmann (after 2004) and then we continued it. Our biggest strength is that we improved throughout the years even if we missed taking that last step at tournaments."

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Image: Manuel Neuer of Germany lifts the World Cup trophy with his team after defeating Argentina 1-0
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer hailed his side's remarkable team spirit after their 1-0 World Cup final win over Argentina.

All hail Germany's wonder boy Goetze

Neuer, who was named goalkeeper of the tournament following the extra-time victory, paid tribute to the squad and coaching staff, as well as the players who were unable to travel to Brazil due to injury.

"It’s unbelievable," he told German television. "All of Germany is world champions now.

"All those who didn’t play brought such togetherness into the team, that’s why we won the World Cup."

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Image: Mario Goetze of Germany, left, celebrates scoring his team's goal with Thomas Mueller
Photographs: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

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Substitute Mario Goetze volleyed home with just seven minutes of extra time remaining to clinch Germany's fourth World Cup and the first by a European side on South American soil.

The game had looked to be heading for a penalty shootout until fellow substitute Andre Schuerrle escaped down the left and sent in a cross that Goetze controlled on his chest before slamming past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Neuer's role in Germany's triumph extended far beyond his superb shot-stopping abilities as his perfectly timed dashes out of the area to cut off opposition breaks instilled confidence in his back four and helped launch fast counter-attacks.

Several times he put himself on collision course with opposition strikers but never backed out of a challenge.

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Image: Mario Goetze of Germany celebrates scoring his team's first goal in extra time
Photographs: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

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"It’s not about me and whether or not I risk my neck for the team," he added. "The team did a super job, everything was great, the team behind the team.

"We’re going to celebrate for at least five weeks now. At some point we’ll stop celebrating but we’ll always keep waking up with a smile."

Germany captain Philipp Lahm also paid tribute to the team spirit and said their sense of togetherness kept them from losing discipline even when the game was on a knife-edge.

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Image: Germany celebrate with the World Cup trophy after defeating Argentina 1-0
Photographs: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

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Germany thumped hosts Brazil 7-1 in Tuesday's semi-final and while some expected them to blow Argentina away Lahm said they never took anything for granted.

"We can't always assume we’ll lead 5-0 at the half," he said. "We stayed confident and calm. You could see that we were the team at the end that had more strength.

"It feels incredible. What we did for 120 minutes, the way we worked so hard, and the way the bench was backing us the whole time. It’s unbelievable to have won the World Cup now."


Image: Manuel Neuer of Germany lifts the World Cup trophy with his team
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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Germany made at least the semi-finals in the last two World Cups and European Championships after failing to get past the group stage at Euro 2000 and 2004.

"We knew we would take that last step and we believed in it and today it finally worked," he said.

Those setbacks led to the creation of a national plan to invest in youth centres for the sport with many players in Loew's current team, including 22-year-old Mario Goetze who scored the extra-time winner against Argentina.

"We were disappointed at times in the past but today there was only deserved winner. This team. It is a special moment because it was not just these days here but the entire 10 years," he said.

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Image: Mario Goetze, Miroslav Klose of Germany and sons celebrate after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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Loew said during that time German players had to learn not to rely only on what he said were the traditional German virtues of working hard and battling until the very end.

Young players had to learn more skills to be able to compete with foreign clubs and national teams.

"The Bundesliga has a big part in this with its training centres," he said.

"In 2000 and 2004, German football was at the very bottom. But we took action to invest in training, to become technically better.

"The German virtues were not enough any more and we had to improve our skills."

The first signs were visible at the 2010 World Cup when Loew fielded their youngest team in 76 years and their attractive attacking style won over many fans.

"The clubs also have their share in this because they got younger and younger players into the first teams. They are doing great work and I have to thank them for that," he said.


Image: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski of Germany celebrate with the World Cup trophy after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Tags: Loew , Germany

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