• Löw points to Gündogan, Reus and other young players
• Germany coach says Argentina much more than Lionel Messi
Joachim Löw has suggested Germany can dominate the international game for years as he urged his players to “make history” by beating Argentina to become the first European team to claim the World Cup on Latin American soil.
This golden generation of German players will attempt to secure their first trophy, having reached at least the semi-finals in each of the past four major tournaments, by triumphing at the Maracanã on Sunday. This current team could hardly be deemed aged, with only two outfield players over 30: the World Cup’s record goalscorer, Miroslav Klose, at 36 and on the verge of retirement after an illustrious career, and the captain Philipp Lahm. There are young players waiting in the wings for their own chance to impress, though.
Löw cited Ilkay Gündogan and Marco Reus, who missed out on the squad due to injury, while Julian Draxler, Mario Götze, Matthias Ginter and Shkodran Mustafi have found their opportunities limited in Brazil. “We have players right now who are playing at their peak, but we have young players also in the squad and others who aren’t even here,” said the coach. “Players with a fantastic future: Gündogan, Reus, Özil, Schürrle, Müller … they can go on to play for a number of years. We can play on top of the world for a good few years yet, with some young players coming in to reinforce the team.
“I believe we, as a team, have matured. Over the last few months, we’ve shown what we can do and how well we can play. In the last few years we have been marching forward. Even if we are defeated in the final, which I don’t think will happen, nothing will crumble. This team, and German football, does have a future. I see no problems ahead. ”
Germany thrashed these opponents 4-0 in the World Cup quarter-final in South Africa four years ago before succumbing to Spain in the last four. Yet no European team has ever claimed this trophy in South America and breaking that duck, against Lionel Messi et al, serves as an extra motivation for Löw and his players.
“We know we can write history,” added the manager. “In the past, we never had a European team winning here. Latin Americans, on this continent, have dominated all the time. So why not? This could be considered an additional joy for us if we were to win as Europeans on Latin American soil.
“We don’t have any fear whatsoever. We have seen Argentina in this tournament putting in great performances. They have been very organised, far better organised in defence than four years ago, and this team is not only about Messi. If you believed it was, you’d be making a mistake. They have Di María, Agüero, Higuaín … it’s not a team dependent on Messi. He is a player who can really determine a match, of course, but this team is better organised and this is what they’ve shown over the tournament.
“I think it will be a gripping final. What we did to Brazil means nothing. This is going to be two teams at exactly the same level facing each other. We have the confidence and the respect for our opponents’ strength, but we believe if we can impose our game, we will win.”