Back in 1998, when Germany crashed out of the World Cup, and 2000 when similar happened in the European Championships, it was the consensus in Germany that change had to happen.
Rather than blame the manager or the tactics, as may have been the case here in England, they chose to analyse the roots of their problems and in the process develop a stronger team for the future. The fruits are there for all to see.
Advantages of Germany's labour
Joachim Löw, Germany's coach, is blessed with a generation of gifted young players – Julian Draxler, Andre Schürrle, Sven Bender, Thomas Müller, Holger Badstuber, Mats Hummels, Mesut Ozil, Ilkay Gundogan, Mario Götze, Marco Reus, Toni Kroos … the list goes on.
More than half of those players came through the DFB's talent development programme, which was introduced in 2003 with the aim of identifying promising youngsters and providing them with technical skills and tactical knowledge at an early age. Covering 366 areas of Germany, this impressive initiative caters for children aged 8 to 14 and is served by 1,000 part-time DFB coaches, all of whom must hold the Uefa B licence and are expected to scout as well as train the players.
"We have 80 million people in Germany and I think before 2000 nobody noticed a lot of talent," Robin Dutt, sporting director for the German FA, says.
"Now we notice everyone."
This is different to how it happens in England, where the FA are reliant on clubs to develop youngsters themselves.
The realisation of a dream
So as the full time whistle went in the Maracana, and Germany celebrated their fourth World Cup win, it was perhaps the sweetest of the lot. Having overcome a difficult group full of games in tropical conditions, as well as a flu epidemic before their crucial semi final vs the hosts Brazil, Germany went on to beat the other South American favourites Argentina to become the first European side to win the World Cup on the continent.
For those who have been involved with the development of Germany's youth, it will be the ultimate vindication of their endeavours. The realisation of a plan that has been some 14 years in the making.
Will England take notice?
Perhaps it is time we as a nation took note of this, and instead of blaming coaches, start finding ways to ensure the development of a solid depth of English talent, rather than becoming reliant on one or two star names. For that is the real marvel of this German team.
There is no star man, only a star team, who work for each other and do what is right for the side as a unit. Germany are the 2014 World Cup winners, and it is hard to find a more deserving side.
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