Player depth key to Germany win

Germany's Andre Schuerrle celebrates with the World Cup trophy after winning their 2014 World Cup...

Germany's Andre Schuerrle celebrates with the World Cup trophy after winning their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014. (REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:46 PM ET

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - When the celebrating is done and the critical analysis is over, the conclusion should be obvious.

The 2014 World Cup was won by Germany because they had the most depth of any of the teams in Brazil.

It is a testament to the program of developing players begun 14 years ago after the German national team was embarrassed in the European championship tournament.

Joachim Low has been with the national team as either an assistant or head coach since 2004. When Jurgen Klinsmann decided not to come back as head coach Low took over in 2008.

He has helped develop a steady stream of players capable of playing on the national side and it helped in the final Sunday against Argentina.

Just before the match, German midfielder Sami Khedira picked up an injury and couldn't start. Low inserted Christoph Kramer.

A little more than a half hour into the came, Kramer was blindsided by an Ezequiel Garay shoulder and while he tried to play, five minutes later he was wobbly-legged and had to be helped off the pitch.

In came Andre Schurrle.

When Miroslav Klose was cooked in the 88th minute, Low was able to bring in Mario Goetze, a man who had lost his starting job early in the tournament.

In the 113th minute Schurrle found Goetze with a cross and the substitute won a World Cup for his team with a stunning finish.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Goetze said. "I don't know how to describe it. I just took the shot and didn't know what was happening. It's unbelievable. For us, the dream has become reality. I'm very proud of the team and extremely happy about everything that happened in Brazil. Every player in our team deserves to be named here."

Team is the key word. One piece of the puzzle is able to replace the other.

Low was especially pleased with the players who have been with him throughout the journey from the early stages of putting this team together. He mentioned Klose, captain Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker.

Now Germany has a bunch of players in their mid-20s ready to continue their assault on international soccer.

For once, and this doesn't always happen, the best team throughout the tournament took home the trophy.

"We've always played good football and I believe that over this tournament, over seven matches, we've shown the best performances of any of the teams here in Brazil," Low said. "The boys have also developed a team spirit which is unbelievable."


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