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Loew's advice to Goetze, and thanks to Klinsmann
by Paul Kennedy, July 14th, 2014 2AM
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TAGS:  argentina, germany, world cup 2014


[GERMANY-ARGENTINA: Reaction] Mario Goetze came into the World Cup as one of Germany's stars, but he found himself on the bench for the last three matches of the World Cup. When he came on late in regulation of Sunday's final against Argentina, his coach, Joachim Loew, told him to go out and decide the World Cup, which he did, becoming the first sub to score the winning goal in the history of World Cup finals.

"I said to Mario Goetze," said Loew afterwards, "'OK, show to the world that you're better than Messi and you can decide the World Cup. You have all the possibilities to do that.' I had a good feeling with him."

Loew watched as Goetze chested down the centering pass from Andre Schuerrle and blasted it past Argentine goalie Sergio Romero for the 1-0 win.

The goal came in the 113rd minute, three minutes before Andres Iniesta's goal four years ago gave Spain a 1-0 win over the Netherlands. Sunday's game was the fifth final decided in overtime. (Two other finals were decided on penalty kicks.)

"I don't know how to describe it," Goetze said. "You just shoot that goal in, you don't really know what's happening."

World Cup Finals, Goals by Substitutes:
Dick Nanninga
, Netherlands, 1-3, Argentina (1978)
Alessandro Altobelli, Italy, 3-1, vs. West Germany, (1982)
Rudi Voeller, West Germany, 2-3 vs. Argentina (1986)
Mario Goetze, Germany, 1-0 vs. Argentina (2014)

Germany's title was the culmination of a decade-long effort to restructure the national team program. One of the architects of Germany's revival was Jurgen Klinsmann, who coached Germany to third place at the 2006 World Cup and now coaches the U.S. national team.

"In 2004, German soccer was down," said Lowe, Klinsmann's assistant in 2006. "We took decisive steps. We said, 'We have to invest more in the education so we are technically better. Just having the German virtue is not enough.'"

Loew paid credit to Klinsmann for his work.

"We've been together for 55 days," he said, "[but] we started this project 10 years ago and this is the result of that work, beginning with Jurgen Klinsmann. Though the years, we were able to increase our performances and make progress. We believed it."

Four Germans -- Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Per Mertesacker -- played on Sunday and played in 2006 when Klinsmann's team beat Argentina in a shootout in the quarterfinals. They were among nine Germans who played on Sunday after taking part in the 4-0 win over Argentina four years ago in the quarterfinals.

That kind of experience made Germany a title contender in 2014 and will make it the favorite in 2018 in Russia. Goetze, at 22, was the youngest of seven Germans who played in the final and will still be under 30 four years from now.

Youngest Germans:
22 Mario Goetze
23 Christoph Kramer
23 Andre Schuerrle
24 Toni Kroos
24 Thomas Mueller
25 Mats Hummels
25 Jerome Boateng

Argentina ...

MESSI'S PAIN. There was a consolation prize for Lionel Messi after Argentina's 1-0 loss to Germany. He was awarded the adidas Golden Ball as the World Cup's best player, somewhat surprising after two quiet performances in the semifinals and final. But it was an individual award that meant little to him.

"It is great pain," Messi said. "We played something important, the country was watching and we wanted to give them this happiness, for them and for us. For me personally, I lived moments of great sadness with the national team and this was the chance to change that. It is a pity not to go home with the cup, but we go home with our heads high."

Argentina's fourth-place finish was its best since 1990 when it finished second to West Germany, losing, also, 1-0, in the final.

MARADONA'S LAMENT. Messi will always be compared to Diego Maradona, who was on the Argentine team in 1990, four years after leading the Albiceleste to its second World Cup title in Mexico City.

"Argentina deserved at least to go to penalty kicks," said Maradona, the Argentina coach four years ago, of Sunday's final. He said the match turned on Gonzalo Higuain's miss in the first half when he had a breakaway but fired his shot wide. "If we put the Higuain goal in," he said, "I think that we would be celebrating. Germany was not overwhelming."

SABELLA'S PUZZLING SUB. One of the surprising moves of the final was Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella's decision to take Ezequiel Lavezzi off at the half for Sergio Aguero, who had been injured and missed most of the knockout stage.

"Lavezzi was playing well, but we wanted to be more attacking," said Sabella. The move backfired as Aguero, who is Maradona's son-in-law, contributed little in contrast to Lavezzi, who gave the Germans trouble down the right wing.

Even Maradona questioned the move. "I still wonder why the change," he said. "If Lavezzi was playing phenomenonally, I do not want to change anything."

July 13 in Rio de Janeiro
Germany 1 Argentina 0 (OT). Goal: Goetze 113.
Germany -- Neuer; Lahm, Hummels, Boateng, Hoewedes; Kramer (Schuerrle, 31), Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Ozil (Mertesacker, 120), Mueller; Klose (Goetze, 88).
Argentina -- Romero; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Garay, Rojo; Biglia, Mascherano, Perez (Gago, 86); Lavezzi (Aguero, 46), Higuain (Palacio, 78), Messi.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy).
Att.: 74,738.

  1. Claudio Garcia chamorro
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 7:30 a.m.
    Congrats to both teams ! Argentina deserved the win. A German machine that dismantled the Great Brasilian one couldn't do the same to the low scoring Argentinian one. Lavezzi sub was the biggest mistake on that game. It was Higuain the one to take out! He was simply inaffective ! Messi - the best player of the WC ? Are you kidding me? What about Robben ??? Who did more for his team and in the WC than anyone else!! FIFA when are you going to stop been corrupt ??
  1. Tim Gibson
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 8:28 a.m.
    Agree Claudio, Robben or Rodriguez & I think either of them would've been a bit more excited to accept it. On the other hand, ya gotta feel for Messi, no other player shouldered more pressure thruout this tournament except maybe Neymar. It's too much for 1 man in a team sport.Congratz to Germany
  1. Santiago 1314
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 9:19 a.m.
    Agree with ALL, Claudio y Tim...It takes 2... Just ask Schuerrle and Goetz...Higuain once again Rose to the "Level of his incompetency "(Peter Principle)...That was why Real Madrid got rid of him...
  1. Albert Harris
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 9:32 a.m.
    I think Rodriquez would have been the better choice too, no offense to Messi. I suspeact the FIFA folks felt his winning the golden boot was a nice consolation prize and the award almost always goes to someone who's made the "final four". Also overlooked was my choice for the most complete player at the tournament, Thomas Mueller. His ability to play just about anywhere Germany wants him to on attack is priceless.
  1. TK TK
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 10:34 a.m.
    I hope we look at the reason Germany is Champ. The development process of these players. Like the identification of these players at an ealry age. Here is a stat that SA should write on. Of the 23 players from this team 11 players played for the U17 German National team and most of those are the teams best players. All but one of the 23 players played for at least one U21 or younger National team. All but 2 played for the U20 or younger German National Team. All but 4 played for the U19 or younger teams. 15 of them played for the U18 or younger teams. The Spain team that won 2010 had similar stats. How is USA doing in that stat??
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 10:35 a.m.
    the 2 teams that played were indeed world class, as were the many informed, nice Argentines I have met the last month......
  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 11:27 a.m.
    TK TK, Germany's program identifies and starts working with potential national team players at 7 and 8 years old. They have an organized network of professionals to help these kids develop. We have nothing even comparable in the US. At 7 and 8, our kids are in recreational leagues with parent coaches. Our country is HUGE compared to Germany. It would require a network of thousands to even begin the identification process of potential players in the US at that age. Do we even have enough people who can qualify as the talent scouts that we need? Another roadblock: it would require our parents "buying in" to the process. In countries where soccer is king, that's no problem. So many people here are just beginning to discover the game. And in our capitalistic society, what parent is going to dedicate his child to a professional sport that doesn't even pay that well in the States? It's a problem. Yet, we Americans are known for our ingenuity and "can do" spirit. Obviously, we're working on solutions. I hope we succeed.
  1. F. Kirk Malloy
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 1:13 p.m.
    TK and Ginger, we all know that the early youth development program (those aged 7-12 years) in the US is at at worst corrupt and at best lame. State associations and parents control the process, and too often they are conflicted in the selection of players identified for advancement. More "who do you know" than "are you truly talented". When not conflicted, untrained eyes - perhaps well-meaning but not educated or experienced in what makes for a true soccer talent - advance the typical US ideal of an athlete (big, strong, physically imposing) up the ranks. Often overlooked are smaller players who possess talents best suited to soccer (e.g., quickness of feet and mind, built for the endurance demanded eventually of full-field play, guile and creativity with the ball in possession, coachable and willing to put team first). By age 12 or so the money team sports in the US (e.g., football, baseball, basketball) have identified and attracted the real athletes away from soccer. If we ultimately want to truly compete for the World Cup, US Soccer needs a true identification and development system, and requisite budget to fund it, like they did in Germany 12 years ago. They also need to get the word out that the sport can provide a very nice career and living for those youths who succeed in joining one of the many, many worldwide professional teams. Why can't we have more US-trained players successful in the EPL, La Liga, Seria A, Bundesliga and other top-flight leagues? If we can get the above right, the rest will follow. And the MLS is increasingly becoming a viable career option too. Look at how well the CONCACAF teams, with MLS players, represented themselves at World Cup. The word needs to get out to mom and dad that little Johnny (and Susie) may very well have better weighted odds of a soccer career than other sport choices, particularly if they aren't destined to be over 6'4" or bigger than 220 lbs. Here's to hoping that the momentum of WC2014 propels US Soccer to further the improvements over the past few years and produce teams and players capable of competing at the highest levels.
  1. TK TK
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 5:06 p.m.
    Ginger, USA has the most soccer players in the world. We have many soccer crazed parents. Most go for their mother countries and so do their kids. So we have the passionate players. We have no problem hiring a nonAmerican coach and glorifying him so why cant we hire nonAmerican Talent scouts to do the job?? Our country is huge compared to Germany but not so much compared to Mexico or Brazil. Size of a country should not be an obstical, especially when that country is the most powerful country in the world!! How come we have no problems filtering the best basketball players to our national Teams?? We are competitive in every sport except soccer. Why is that?? We find the top swimmers dont we?? Tennis and golf players?? ARe those 3 sports more popular?? Whats the difference?? Can it be that soccer system in place is corrupt and extremely uneffective??
  1. Kevin Sims
    commented on: July 17, 2014 at 3:08 p.m.
    Argentina did not finish 4th ... please create a process to rid SA of such repeated gaffes

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