Five's the prize for Germany

Five's the prize for Germany

FINAL

GERMANY 1 (Mario Goetze 113) ARGENTINA 0

After extra time

The superlatives will continue to flow for some time for the newly-minted champions even as the hangover slowly recedes after the World Cup final on yesterday morning (Singapore time).

And why not, after Germany's historic triumph on South American soil, with Mario Goetze playing the improbable hero with a stunning finish to break Argentina's hearts at the Maracana Stadium.

Over the years, even with Italy's record of four world titles, only Germany were given the privilege of being mirrored with Brazil when it came to talk of the greatest football nation.

Now, they are on the march to possibly even outmatch the country which gave birth to the beautiful game.

From today, Germany will also have four world stars on their jersey, one behind Brazil's all-time record, and have already been made favourites for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The country's football machine which had spluttered since their last world triumph in 1990, has been fixed, and is now a world-class animal that is the envy of nations across the globe.

Youth development is preached and invested in, Bundesliga clubs work to win and also help the national cause and the system was celebrated with victory here.

After the stunning massacre at Belo Horizonte, Zico went so far as to say Brazil had to exorcise pride and learn from Germany, if they wanted to repair their shattered reputation, and win again.

Minutes after steering his country to glory, coach Joachim Loew said his team could dominate world football for an era, and there does seem to be a hunger in this side to realise their full potential, with the 2016 European Championships their immediate target. That goal will be seen as a necessary stepping stone as the Germans focus on No. 5 in four years' time, to match Brazil, who are also the only side to have retained a World Cup.

If Brazil's superb winning team of 1958 - with a young Pele - was inspired by a collection of individual stars working as one to banish a tragedy on home soil eight years earlier, their 1962 side relied on the breathtaking talent of Garrincha to get them to the top. If this is their blueprint, then Germany 2018 will, in all likelihood, rely on the ethic of team, helped by the fact that many of the same players from the 2014 crop of champions will still be in the mix.

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