Monday 22 December 2014

Philipp Lahm: You have to have the best team

Published 13/07/2014 | 23:55

Germany's Mario Gotze celebrate winning the World Cup after the FIFA World Cup Final at the Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janerio, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 13, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation.
Germany's Mario Gotze celebrate winning the World Cup after the FIFA World Cup Final at the Estadio do Maracana
Germany's players lift the World Cup trophy as they celebrate their 2014 World Cup final win against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro July 13, 2014. REUTERS/Michael Dalder (BRAZIL - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD CUP)
Germany's coach Joachim Loew lifts the World Cup trophy beside his team after they won the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium
Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer lifts the Golden Glove as he celebrates with teammates being named as the best goalkeeper at the end of their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium
Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates with the FIFA World Cup Trophy and team-mates after winning the FIFA World Cup Final at the Estadio do Maracana
Mario Goetze of Germany (L) celebrates scoring his team's first goal with Thomas Mueller during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Germany celebrate defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates defeating Argentina 1-0 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
A dejected Lionel Messi of Argentina reacts after being defeated by Germany 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina shakes hands with head coach Alejandro Sabella as he exits the game during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Germany celebrate defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Thomas Mueller (L) and Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany celebrate after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose of Germany celebrate defeating Argentina 1-0 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Mario Goetze of Germany (L) celebrates scoring his team's first goal with Jerome Boateng during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Mario Goetze of Germany celebrates scoring his team's first goal in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Mario Goetze of Germany scores his team's first goal in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Lucas Biglia (L) and Javier Mascherano of Argentina challenge Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana
Argentina's Rodrigo Palacio (R) shoots but fails to score a goal past Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during extra time in their 2014 World Cup final at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro
Argentina's Lionel Messi (R) misses a goal opportunity during their 2014 World Cup final against Germany at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro
Germany's Benedikt Hoewedes (R) misses a chance to score during their 2014 World Cup final against Argentina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro
Argentina's Lionel Messi (C) attempts a shot on goal against Germany's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as Germany's Mats Hummels (R) challenges during their 2014 World Cup final at the Maracana stadium
Argentina's Marcos Rojo (L) fouls Germany's Thomas Mueller (C) during their 2014 World Cup final at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro

Manuel Neuer hailed an "unbelievable" moment as Germany won the World Cup thanks to Mario Gotze's extra-time winner over Argentina in the final at the Maracana.

Gotze's fine control and shot sunk Lionel Messi and company and earned Germany their fourth world title.

"It is unbelievable," Neuer, who won the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper in the tournament, was quoted as saying by kicker.de

"The team has done superbly, not only the players, but also the team behind the team. At some point we will stop celebrating, but we will always stand up again with a smile."

Captain Philipp Lahm added: "What we have done and how we have worked is incredible."

Lahm, consistently excellent for Germany all tournament, added: "Whether we have the best individual players or whatever does not matter, you have to have the best team.

"We stepped up time and again in the tournament, did not let ourselves get distracted by any disruption, went on our way.

"And at the end you stand there as world champions - an unbelievable feeling. The team has remained quiet and patient."

Centre-back Mats Hummels had his work cut out against Messi and company.

"I am still completely trapped in another world, physically too exhausted to be able to rejoice euphorically. But that will come in the coming days," he said.

"You can only be world champions when you act as a team. We wanted to make that clear to everyone the whole time and we achieved that, even if we got that little bit of luck in the final as we were already a bit waiting for penalties."

Christoph Kramer, the midfielder who came in as a last-minute replacement for Sami Khedira only to have to go off in the first half, clearly very groggy, after a heavy collision with Ezequiel Garay, said: "I can't remember very much, but that doesn't matter now."

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella admitted that his side had paid the price for missing chances as Germany were crowned World Cup winners but said he was proud of his players.

Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain were both guilty of being wasteful as Germany triumphed 1-0 in extra-time.

Sabella said: "The players are bitter and sad because we had a huge dream having made it all the way to the final. We needed to be more clinical and I am sad just like the players.

"Beyond the pain of the defeat in the final they can look themselves in the eyes and say they gave everything for Argentina.

"We have an extraordinary group of players, these were warriors. I congratulated the players because they left every drop of sweat out on the field. They gave their all.

"I am very proud, the boys played an extraordinary World Cup and improved as they advanced through the stages and they gave everything for the Argentina jersey.

"I think that this was a very tough match, Germany started better and handled the ball well and is a great team.

"The match had its up and downs but we had the clearer chances. I congratulate my players for their extraordinary work and congratulations to Germany on the title."

Sabella also refused to be drawn on his future.

He said: "I cannot speak about the future, the future for me now is to be with the players and my people - the coaches and my family - and to rest a bit. I don't know what to say about the future."

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