Germany revel in World Cup success
Bastian Schweinsteiger hailed Germany's "incredible" World Cup triumph, after a 1-0 extra-time victory over Argentina secured the trophy for Joachim Low's side.
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Mario Gotze's goal was the difference as Germany became the first European nation to win the trophy in the Americas and Schweinsteiger, who played all 120 minutes despite needing attention for a facial cut in extra time, said a dream had been realised.
"My first World Cup [that he watched] was in 1990. Winning the trophy was my big dream, it turned into my goal at some point," Schweinsteiger told ARD TV. "That we've won the World Cup as the first European team in South America is incredible."
After thrashing Brazil 7-1 in the semifinal, Germany had been favourites to lift the trophy, but the narrow margin of victory did not surprise Schweinsteiger, who added: "You can never expect to be leading 5-0 in both the semifinal and the final. We always knew that. We had the patience, and were stronger in the end."
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who was named the World Cup's best goalkeeper after the final whistle, claimed that squad togetherness was key to the victory and paid tribute to those players who missed the tournament through injury.
"The team is the reason we have won the World Cup," Neuer said to ARD TV. "We have all stood together. Those who did not play brought that team spirit into it. It all developed during the preparation camp. We had to cope with quite a few setbacks.
"We have to think about the Bender twins [Lars and Sven], and Marco Reus. They are also world champions."
Neuer was keen to deflect individual praise despite claiming the Golden Glove award, adding: "It's my job. I always want to be there for the team. It's not about me, it's not about risking my skin, it's about the team."