Tor! How Germany plotted for final glory

Published 1423 GMT (2223 HKT) July 15, 2014
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The rebuilding and restructuring of German football paid dividends on Sunday as it lifted the World Cup after victory over Argentina in the final. It was a process that began amid turmoil in 2000.... Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
After the country's disastrous showing at Euro 2000, Ulf Schott, director of youth and education at the German Football Association, set out a well-thought strategy to improve German football. Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images
It was feared Germany would disappoint when it hosted the World Cup in 2006. Two years prior to the tournament, former national team star Jurgen Klinsmann took over as head coach with Joachim Low (pictured) as his assistant. Germany reached the semifinals of the World Cup on home soil, playing an exciting brand of football which delighted its fans. Eight years on and Low, who has been head coach since July 2006, has just led Germany to triumph at Brazil 2014. Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images
Since the turn of the century, German football has put a large focus on youth and no group of players reaped the benefits more than the team that won the under 21 European Championships in 2009. Six of the players who starred in the 4-0 win over England in the final were ever-present during Germany's victorious run in Brazil, including goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (pictured) who won the golden glove awarded to the best goalkeeper at the World Cup. Julian Finney/Getty Images
Jerome Boateng whose brother Kevin-Prince was at the World Cup with Ghana, is another player who was part of the German team during its U-21 success and also played all of his country's matches in Brazil. Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images
Benedikt Howedes has cemented his place as one of the starting eleven for the national team during this tournament, but he also played a key role in its 2009 success. Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images
Mats Hummels is another who has impressed at this year's tournament. He has earned a reputation as one of the best defenders in Europe with Borussia Dortmund and he was also part of the under-21 team five years ago. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Sami Khedira, another 2009 graduate, was arguably man of the match as Germany beat hosts Brazil 7-1 in last week's World Cup semifinal. Vanderlei Almeida/AFP/Getty Images
Mesut Ozil was man of the match when Germany crushed England 4-0 in 2009 and he was a fixture of Germany's triumphant team in Brazil. Martin Rose/Getty Images
German fans, usually loyal to rival club teams like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, all came together to celebrate a long awaited victory for the national team. Target Presse Agentur/Bongarts/Getty Images