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What it takes to win the Soccer World Cup

15 July 2014, 13:05

Winning the FIFA Soccer World Cup is every nation’s dream. It is by far the most prestigious achievement in terms of public engagement and media coverage. After the hype had settled down one can calmly review the result and investigate what the winning nation Germany had done to win the dream trophy.

The answer appears to be that Germany decided fourteen years ago to invest in a national youth academy system to develop and produce the youth required to win the European soccer leagues and ultimately the world cup. The path decided upon by those in charge at the German Football Federation (DFB) and newly-created German Football League (DFL) was to invest in youth development through a national academy that extends to all 36 clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2.

Evidence of the wisdom of this decision was demonstrated when 22-year old Mario Götze came in as a substitute in the dying minutes of the game and scored the winning goal in the 113th minute of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final against Argentina. His goal took Germany to its fourth World Cup title. Mario Götze is a product of Dortmund's youth academy, entering the club as an eight-year-old and playing his way up the senior league structure. Götze transferred to Bayern Munich from Dortmund in 2013 for a transfer fee of €37 million, at the time, the most expensive German player in history. He had won the Fritz Walter Gold Medal of the German Football Association in 2009 and 2010 as a 17 and 18 year old player. The answer seems to be to invest in the development of the youth and to provide them with the opportunities and incentives to demonstrate their genius.


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