It all began in the year 2000, when the German team failed to win a single match in the Euros. It was then that the Germans realised that they could no longer solely depend on their hustle and hard work to flourish. They needed to adapt and adapt they did. When Jurgen Klinsmann took charge of the German team in the year 2004, German football went through a massive renovation and brilliant reinvention. Klinsmann’s vision was to produce a team of fast passing attacking players that would dazzle the opponents with their flair. Soon, the entire nation, including little kids in the villages, was adhering to Klinsmann’s new style of football.
SO CLOSE, YET SO FAR
Klinsmann’s departure didn’t mark the end of Germany’s industrious and penetrating football. His successor and former depute, Joachim Low kept Klinsmann’s philosophy well and truly alive in the team. As a result, the German team performed significantly better in the years that followed and were deemed as legitimate title contenders for every international tournament they took part in. The effectiveness of Klinsmann and Low’s tactics are reflected in Germany’s string of impressive and consistent performances in the 2006 World Cup, the 2008 Euros, 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Euros where they reached the last four on each occasion. However the narrow defeats in the semifinals and finals of these major competitions raised the eyebrows of critics and caused repeated frustration among the players and the fans.
THE BAVARIAN EFFECT
Klinsmann and Low weren’t the only masterminds behind Germany’s rise to prominence in world football. The accomplishments of the German team can also be accredited to a certain historical club in Munich. Bayern Munchen has played a huge role in moulding a German team full of superstars. Munchen boasts one of the world’s best youth football academies. Players like Phillip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos have all come through the ranks in the Bayern youth teams.
THE PERFECT GAMEPLAN
It was in Munchen that the German players mastered the art of blending various styles of football to create the perfect hybrid strategy. Each coach at Bayern added a different dimension to their game. Louis Van Gaal gave them a tactical structure to build upon. Jupp Heynckes on the other hand ignited the fire and fury of counter attacking football at Bayern. Then arrived Pep Guardiola, who taught the players the art of tiki taka i.e. attacking football based on precise and composed passing at regular intervals. Bayern’s ability to dominate the game was channelled into the German national team.
It was in Munchen that the German players mastered the art of blending various styles of football to create the perfect hybrid strategy. Each coach at Bayern added a different dimension to their game
With a team consisting of world class athletes, Germany didn’t have to rely on one or two individuals to attain success in their World Cup matches. Every single player on the pitch and even those on the bench played a significant role towards steering Germany to victory. Other nations had far better players in their squads but no one had the team chemistry of the Germans. A rock solid defensive unit, a fluid and free flowing bunch of midfielders and a few handy forwards with killer instincts allowed Germany to outsmart and overpower their opponents. Their 7-1 thrashing of Brazil was the perfect example of how tactics can trump talent. When tactics alone didn’t suffice in hard fought matches against opponents like Algeria and Argentina, the players reached deep within to find their fighting German spirit and dragged themselves to the finishing line ahead of the opposition.
Germany’s conquest of world football is no fluke. It’s a result of years of failure, hardwork and development. Their triumph in Brazil 2014 is only the tip of the iceberg. It certainly is a great time to be a German football fan.