As most of the country was still paying the price for that one celebratory beer too many, Germany’s media were searching through the debris of the memories from the Maracanã to work out what it might all mean.

For Der Spiegel, the headline is above all the reward for a 10-year effort to reform and modernise German football. “When Klinsmann mentioned winning the World Cup as he was presented as national coach in 2004, it sounded about as credible as tobacco advertising,” writes Christian Gödecke.

“Now Germany is world champion, and German football is barely recognisable. It’s the perfect mix of virtue and magic, of hurrah and heave ho.”

Many are above all relieved that Germany managed to win the title without losing sympathies abroad. “There won’t be debates like there were in Rome in 1990, when the penalty that Andreas Brehme netted for the 1-0 victory was controversial and triggered conspiracy theories against Fifa amongst the Argentinians”, writes Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The final, the Munich-based liberal newspaper writes, was a “fitting punchline” to a great tournament. “Mario Götze’s goal was of irresistible elegance – the crowning glory for the tournament’s best team, the one which had always sought the initiative and supplied this World Cup with the most numerous and most beautiful goals.”

Not every commentator is quite as euphoric. In some cases, it is almost as if the German team’s relentless refusal to get too carried away has rubbed off on the press. Bild’s front page, simply reading “World Champions”, is relatively sober by the tabloid’s usual gung-ho standard.

In Bild’s player ratings, only Jérôme Boateng, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Götze are rewarded with top grades. Mats Hummels and Benedikt Höwedes only get four stars in a system where one denotes the best score and six the worst.

Boateng, previously often identified as a risk factor in the German defence, is also singled out by Süddeutsche Zeitung. The unassuming defender was “indispensable” against the South Americans, the paper writes, seemingly having inherited goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s talent for perfect timing: “His precision tackles again and again restrained the opposition’s play. Sometimes in the other team’s half, sometimes in front of his own box, sometimes as the last man.”

Die Zeit singles out Bayern’s veteran midfielder Schweinsteiger for praise: “In this historic, dramatic and fascinating victory over Argentina, Schweinsteiger was the boss on the pitch. He structured Germany’s game, passed the ball when it was sensible, tackled when it was necessary. If there was something he didn’t like, he interfered.” Schweinsteiger, the paper said, has become “immortal”.

After weeks of open criticism, Die Welt also heaped praise on the German coaching team’s tactical flexibility. “Whether it was fast vertical play or patient ball retention, the German team always found the right answer for every tactical challenge. That’s why Joachim Löw and his team played a crucial part in this triumph – they always had the right strategy.”

Taz newspaper believes the key to beating Argentina in the final lay elsewhere. “Many will write that Jogi and his boys wrote history last night. But history isn’t written by great men, but by processes and structures. The investments that the German FA made in its youth scheme after the botched Euro 2000 on Sunday night bore multicultural fruits. Not ‘we’ are world champions, but the many Götzes, Özils and Müllers that have made the German team more flexible than ever.”