When Germany arrived in Russia for the Confeds, sans eight of their first-sheeters and a largely second-string side, their title prospects seemed bleak. But Loew’s unheralded bunch not only exhilarated the neutrals with their fluid game but also announced their arrival by landing Germany the one elusive trophy in their cabinet. Weave into the context their U-21 Euro triumph and Germany looks destined to rule the football world for quite a while.
Made in Russia
Leon Goretzka: The 22-year-old Schalke midfielder has often been likened to the versatile Lothar Matthaus. Both players have a lot in common–pace, creativity, immaculate game sense and ice in their veins. He gave a glimpse of his talent with a brace against Mexico.
Julian Draxler: That the 23-year-old is a precociously-gifted playmaker, everybody knew. But here he gave a fair account of his leadership skills and didn’t make them feel the absence of Manuel Neuer.
Lars Stindl: Age-wise one of the more senior members of the squad, Stindl 28, made the most of his rare break. The forward who had made his debut just a few weeks before the Confeds, showcased his verve and anticipation several times before scoring an easy winnner in the final.
Big names missing
Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil, as well as Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Mats Hummels were missing.
23 Average age of German squad. They also had the youngest player in the tournament: defender Benjamin Henrichs, who is just 20.
3 Number of goals Timo Werner, the golden boot winner, scored in 4 games. He’s played for Germany only six times.
Euro Dream team
The U-21 team performed so splendidly that the official team had six players from the winners.
Jeremy Toljan An enterprising defender, he was not only Germany’s rock at the back but also a looming threat in the opponent’s box, testified by the three assists he managed.
Max Meyer The Schalke midfielder is being hotly pursued by several top clubs, and it’s a matter of time before he is swooped by one of Europe’s elites. His probing runs and creative spark was on full display in Euros.