Germany coach Joachim Louw defied all odds to win the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup tournament in Russia on Sunday, coming under a barrage of criticism for presenting a second-string side.
But after they won the tournament for the first time and become the second country after France to hold both trophies for the World Cup and the Confederations Cup, Louw belief in the youth has won him many admires.
Leaving the likes of Mezit Ozil, Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, Toni Kroos and Manuel Neur at home to give mostly unknown players to shine, German future in football is shining brighter.
48 hours before winning the Confederations Cup and sending a chilling message to the world that his defending team is bigger and stronger, another German side, the under-21 won the European Champions by beating Spain.
It was a show of force for German football, and while it opens doors for youngsters looking to break through, other more established players will now be feeling the pressure. Their places in the Germany squad, or at least the starting line-up, are under threat just as attention turns to next year’s defence of the World Cup.
And if counties like South Africa, with so much resources at their disposal wants to emulate Germany, then winning tournaments like the COSAFA Cup is a must.
Giving youngsters a chance to showcase their worth, Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter was left with an egg on his face as his boys were outmuscled and outplayed by Tanzania to show that we have a long way to go before we can call ourselves world beaters.
Days after losing the 2006 World Cup at home soil, Louw vowed that his German side will regroup and reclaim its place at the summit of world football.
And when they did the unthinkable, becoming the first European country to win the world’s most prestigious tournament in the world in South America with classy seven goals, the sleeping giant was awake.
But unlike South Africa who made history by beating Nigeria last month for the first time in 25 years before losing to lowly Zambia and now Tanzania, Germany have continued with their mantra of being the best in the world.
Lesson to be learn from Germany is that development is key and should be taken seriously. It need to be natured and given all the attention, it need.
Germany are now basking in the glory of development and as we head to the World Cup in a space of 11 months, the whole world can’t wait to see who will make the starting 11 as Louw will be burning the midnight oil from now on.
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