The 7-1 humiliating defeat of Brazil last night was a result of a radical transformation in German football that took place nearly fifteen years ago.
Following the disastrous Euro 2000 campaign where Germany finished bottom of their group, the Bundesliga and DFB were forced to undergo a drastic overhaul of youth football. The idea was to develop more home-grown technically gifted players, which would benefit everyone in the long term. Over £600million has been spent on youth football development and scouting in the last decade.
The DFB's talent development programme was introduced in 2003 with the aim of identifying promising youngsters and providing them with technical skills and tactical knowledge at an early age.
Yet most importantly these young players are being pushed into the first team. While other countries may look to bring in young foreign players, the German sides want to nurture all the home-grown young talent. In England for example, we hear all the time of certain players around 18 or 19, but they all eventually lose their way, or are sent out on loan numerous times at a level that they cannot develop at sufficiently.
The DFB wanted to move away from playing in straight lines and relying on "the German mentality" to win matches. Instead coaches focused on developing fluid formations that required the sort of nimble, dexterous players who would previously have been overlooked because of their lack of physical strength. Players such as Mario Gotze and Mesut Ozil are prime examples of small, technically gifted players, who fifteen to twenty years ago would never have got where they are today.
Although the Brazilian defense was diabolical last night, the Germans were incisive, ruthless, tactically sound and the movement they created caused havoc.
The slick, measured passing game common in La Liga is inflected with a greater urgency in Germany, where more teams play a high-energy pressing game designed to win the ball and break at speed.
Spain’s infamous era of tika-taka football is dead. The Germans power and pace is the future of football and looks almost unstoppable.
Although this article could be a little premature, after all they have not won the World Cup just yet. This is a golden generation. Looking at the ages of the player: Julian Draxler (19), Andre Schürrle (22), Sven Bender (24), Thomas Müller (23), Holger Badstuber (24), Mats Hummels (25), Mesut Ozil (24), Ilkay Gundogan (23), Mario Götze (21), Marco Reus (23), Toni Kroos (24), there is going to be no end to what this German team can achieve. Perhaps more worryingly for international teams is that there are more and more talented players being found every day in Germany.
In 2001 England beat Germany 5-1 in a result that will go down in English football history. If we look at the state of the two sides now it’s embarrassing to say the least. England crashed out of the group phase and the players not being technically good enough, then compare this to the strength and depth of quality that Germany have at their disposal is frightening.