Previous
SC Freiburg
Hertha Berlin
1
1
LIVE 78'
Game Details
Elche
Eibar
0
2
LIVE 46'
Game Details
Bordeaux
Evian Thonon Gaillard
2
0
LIVE 77'
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
Colorado Rapids
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Santos
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Arsenal Tula
Mordovia Saransk
0
1
FT
Game Details
Elche
Eibar
0
2
LIVE 46'
Game Details
SC Freiburg
Hertha Berlin
1
1
LIVE 78'
Game Details
Bordeaux
Evian Thonon Gaillard
2
0
LIVE 77'
Game Details
Partick Thistle
St Mirren
1
1
LIVE 65'
Game Details
Carpi
Trapani
2
2
FT
Game Details
Spezia
Virtus Entella
1
0
LIVE 50'
Game Details
FC Erzgebirge Aue
St Pauli
3
0
FT
Game Details
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
SV Darmstadt 98
2
0
FT
Game Details
VfR Aalen
SV Sandhausen
0
1
FT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
AC Ajaccio
1
1
FT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Dijon FCO
2
0
FT
Game Details
Brest
Arles
1
0
FT
Game Details
Chateauroux
AS Nancy Lorraine
2
5
FT
Game Details
Créteil
Clermont Foot
2
2
FT
Game Details
Niort
Valenciennes
3
0
FT
Game Details
Sochaux
Nimes
2
0
FT
Game Details
Stade Laval
Angers
3
2
FT
Game Details
Tours
Orléans
4
3
FT
Game Details
Willem II Tilburg
NAC Breda
2
1
FT
Game Details
Achilles '29
FC Oss
2
2
FT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
Helmond Sport
3
0
FT
Game Details
Fortuna Sittard
FC Eindhoven
0
2
FT
Game Details
Jong PSV
Sparta Rotterdam
0
2
FT
Game Details
MVV Maastricht
De Graafschap
0
1
FT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Jong FC Twente
1
1
FT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
Almere City
3
2
FT
Game Details
Guimaraes
Paços de Ferreira
0
1
LIVE 36'
Game Details
FC Arsenal Tula
Mordovia Saransk
0
1
FT
Game Details
Eskisehirspor K
Genclerbirligi
0
2
FT
Game Details
Randers FC
Silkeborg IF
1
0
FT
Game Details
IFK
Gefle IF
4
0
FT
Game Details
SK Brann
Sandnes Ulf
1
1
FT
Game Details
Athlone Town FC
Bohemians
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bray
St Patricks
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Dundalk
Derry City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
Colorado Rapids
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
UNAM
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Santos
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Quilmes
Lanús
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Colón de Santa Fe
San Martín de San Juan
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
Mineros de Zacatecas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Dorados de Sinaloa
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
América RN
Portuguesa de Desportos
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
Goianiense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
Avaí
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
General Díaz
Guaraní
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nagoya Grampus Eight
Vantforet Kofu
6:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Deportivo Cali
12:45 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Next

Honigstein: Low begins German rebuild

Germany Sep 3, 2014
Read
 Posted by Raphael Honigstein
Jul 14, 2014

Looking ahead for the World Champs

ESPN FC's Joao Castelo Branco speaks about the German team and their return to Berlin for their victory parade.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- So what's next?

Nobody from the corps of embedded national team reporters dared to ask Joachim Low that question after the final whistle in the Maracana on Sunday night. It would have been impertinent. Too soon. Too inopportune.

The German journalists in Rio de Janeiro were all reluctant to probe further. You can't ask a manager who's just won the biggest possible accolade if he intends to go on the job, can you? It couldn't be asked. But then again, it had to be asked.

Print journalists have been taught that the only way they can compete with the immediacy of television is to spin the story forward, to look ahead to the day after the triumph. That's the reason why you'll read plenty of musings about the possibility of German domination in Europe over the next few days. (If they had lost -- and they very nearly did lose -- you would have read about this generation not being quite cut out to win a trophy or similar misgivings.)

Even more importantly, Low's immediate future had been shrouded in mystery throughout the tournament. Many people were adamant that they knew what would happen but the sheer amount of various theories put forward -- he will resign if they won the World Cup, he will resign if they didn't win the World Cup, he won't resign in any case, Thomas Tuchel (the former Mainz 05 coach) will be his new assistant, Thomas Schneider (the former VFB Stuttgart coach) will be his new assistant -- all really meant that no one had any firm idea. Maybe Low himself hadn't quite thought it through himself.

Eventually, a few journalists decided that one colleague who hadn't been with the Germany team over the last seven weeks should make the inquiry. To soften the blow, as it were.

Unfortunately, however, the reporter never got his questions in. The FIFA press officer on the podium exhausted the available time by taking queries from all media representatives from all over the world, all of whom were keen to congratulate; none of whom showed the least amount of interest in the 54-year-old's career plans.

Pressed on the issue, the chairman of the German FA, Wolfgang Niersbach, was adamant that Low would be in charge for the Euros qualification and beyond. General manager Oliver Bierhoff, too, vowed to stay on. "I still have a contract for two more years," said the 46-year-old. "I will continue. And judging by the way I have seen Low (work) in the last days and weeks, I assume that will be the case for him as well."

It could be argued that there can be not better time for Low to call it a day then after guiding Germany to their fourth World Cup, in Brazil, after two years of almost constant criticism in the wake of a disappointing Euro 2012.

Joachim Low celebrates after leading Germany to their fourth World Cup trophy.

What's more, Low has built this team, first alongside Jurgen Klinsmann, then by himself over the course of a decade. You could easily argue that his work is done.

But there's another view. If he continues, Low will have almost two years in which to fine-tune his squad for the next tournament in France. There'll be minimal pressure -- the new 24-team-format make it almost impossible not to make the final cut -- and the chance to add a second trophy will be tempting.

The current team can still play in two years time, hopefully with added quality in the shape of Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundogan (both Dortmund) and maybe Timo Werner (18, VfB Stuttgart) as well. Low should get a pay rise, too, which will make the job even more enjoyable.

Lukas Podolski, of all players, actually looked forward to the European championship in France 2016 ("we hope to win it") and claimed that everybody had "to keep their feet on the ground."

That view wasn't shared by his colleagues, however. Many of them walked through the mixed zone with a few magnum bottles of special World Cup edition champagne in their hands. A few of them sang "Germany's Number One!"

Keeping their feet on the ground was the least of their concerns, quite the opposite. "We won't sleep for a single second, celebrate until we fly back (on Monday afternoon), then have a big party with the supporters in Berlin," said Chelsea's Andre Schurrle, who had provided the assist for the winning goal from Mario Gotze.

Words for their emotions were hard to come by. "I don't think we realise at this moment how big our achievement is," said Thomas Muller, "it doesn't feel real at all. Very strange. But very positive, I'd say. And we deserve it, because we have worked hard for it as a team."

Christoph Kramer, a late inclusion after Sami Khedira pulled out with a calf injury, had even less idea what had happened. "I don't remember much, but it doesn't matter," said the 23-year-old Gladbach midfielder; he had to be substituted after 31 minutes with concussion following a collision with Ezequiel Garay.

GermanyGermany
ArgentinaArgentina
1
0
AET
Match 64
Game Details

When you're not quite sure where you are, the only way to find out is to trace back your steps, like Hansel and Gretel, through time. Germany didn't quite know what they had done in Rio but they knew how they got to there.

Podolski, as is his wont, put it in very philosophical terms. "We had to wait 10 years for this s---" he said, and remembered his first trips with the German Under 21's alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger.

From 2006, he, Schweinsteiger, Mertesacker, Miroslav Klose and Lahm had all tried to win a trophy in vain. All the time, the team got a little better, thanks to new, technically proficient additions and the older players having more experience.

"It was ten years of hard labour," said Low, "we improved continually".

Germany, it must be mentioned, came close to losing this game against a street-smart Argentina but they prevailed, through skill (Gotze's goal), effort (Schweinsteiger) and focus (Boateng).

Those three epitomised the team's collective strength on the night. There's a huge supporting cast, from the rest of squad, to the coaching staff to those people in the German FA who were smart enough to implement the necessary changes. "Their triumph leaves you with the good feeling that you can earn good fortune," wrote Der Spiegel.

So what's next? It doesn't matter. Because it's done.

Raphael Honigstein

Raphael Honigstein is ESPN FC's German football expert and a regular guest on ESPN FC TV. He also writes for the Guardian, among other outlets, and is the author of "Englischer Fussball."