They went all the way to glory in Rio, a 23-man squad - including Manuel Neuer, Mesut Özil and Thomas Müller - made up of youth, some experience and immense talent. Yet who made up the cast that took Germany to their fourth FIFA World Cup win in Brazil and where are they now?
bundesliga.com scans the names behind the squad numbers of the heroes of 2014 ...
1. Manuel Neuer (players ordered by squad number at Brazil 2014)
The finest goalkeeper on the planet not only lifted the World Cup in Rio, but he was also awarded the Golden Glove as the tournament's best custodian, making 25 saves and keeping four clean sheets at the finals. Even now at 36, the Bayern Munich and Germany captain is still proving he’s the best between the sticks and is up to 10 Bundesliga titles and two continental trebles.
Watch: The best of Neuer's in the Bundesliga
2. Kevin Großkreutz
An often controversial figure during the end of his Borussia Dortmund days, Großkreutz went into the 2014 finals as a double Bundesliga winner and UEFA Champions League finalist. Immensely versatile, the winger/full-back made six senior international appearances during his career, but failed to get any playing time in Brazil. A spell at VfB Stuttgart preceded a move to second-tier Darmstadt and then third-division Uerdingen before announcing his retirement in January 2021. He’s since been playing amateur football with his local team in Dortmund, Bövinghausen.
Another former Dortmund man, Ginter was a Freiburg player when he was called into Joachim Löw's finals squad. At 20, the centre-back was the youngest player in Germany's set-up but didn't make an appearance at the tournament. Four days after the final, he signed for BVB before switching Borussias to Mönchengladbach three years later. After five years and more than 150 appearances, he returned home to Freiburg in summer 2022, bringing his experience of 46 senior international caps, including the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
A centre-back by trade, Schalke youth product Höwedes was somewhat surprisingly used as a left-back in Brazil, but went down in history as one of 10 Germany players to win the World Cup having played every single minute of the tournament. He finished his international career with 44 caps. After well over 300 appearances for Die Königsblauen, Höwedes joined Juventus on a season-long loan in 2017/18. His permanent departure from Schalke came the following year as he joined Lokomotiv Moscow. The now 34-year-old retired in July 2020 and is currently part of Hansi Flick’s backroom staff with the national team.
Watch: Unlikely world champion left-back Höwedes leaves boyhood club Schalke
5. Mats Hummels
Hummels has enjoyed a trophy-laden career that includes five Bundesliga titles across numerous spells at Bayern and Dortmund, plus the 2014 triumph in Brazil, where he was first-choice centre-back throughout and also scored the winning goal in the quarter-final against France. The last of his 76 caps came at UEFA Euro 2020, having made his senior debut a decade earlier. The 34-year-old is currently still going strong for BVB, now in his 17th Bundesliga campaign with well over 400 competitive appearances in black and yellow.
6. Sami Khedira
The ying to Bastian Schweinsteiger's yang in central midfield for Löw, Khedira was a key cog in Germany's machine, featuring in five of the team's seven games in Brazil. The former Stuttgart midfielder scored Germany's fifth against the hosts in the semis, before making way for Julian Draxler in the second half. The title win crowned a memorable summer for the then 27-year-old, who lifted the Champions League trophy with Real Madrid just a couple of months earlier. He moved on to Juventus in summer 2015, winning back-to-back league and cup doubles with the Italian giants. After five years in Serie A, Khedira spent six months at Hertha Berlin before hanging up his boots in June 2021. He is now an advisor at Stuttgart and a pundit for ARD.
The heartbeat of the Germany team in Brazil, Schweinsteiger’s performance in the final is regarded as one of the best of any Germany player. He played a final season at boyhood club Bayern following the World Cup - winning what was a record-equalling eighth Bundesliga title at the time – before moving to Manchester United in summer 2015. The midfielder took over the Germany captaincy after Lahm's retirement, before stepping down from the international game himself in August 2016. He left Manchester for Chicago Fire in March 2017, where he spent two and a half years before returning to Germany, where he now works as a television pundit.
Watch: Schweinsteiger, made in the Bundesliga
8. Mesut Özil
An outrageously gifted playmaker, the former Schalke and Werder Bremen midfielder started all seven of Germany's matches in Brazil. Özil remained a key part of Löw’s plans up to and including the 2018 World Cup, but has not featured for Germany since. After seven years at Arsenal, where he became the fastest player in English Premier League history to bring up 50 assists, he joined Fenerbahce in January 2021 before moving to fellow Turkish SüperLig side Basaksehr in July 2022.
Schürrle played in six of Germany's games en route to glory and had a star turn in the 7-1 thrashing of the hosts in the semi-finals, coming off the bench to score Germany's last two goals – before going on to set up Mario Götze for the all-important winner against Argentina in the final. He played the first half of 2014/15 with Chelsea – playing enough games to win a Premier League winners' medal the following May – but joined Wolfsburg during the winter break. The attacking midfielder helped the Wolves win the DFB Cup that year before joining Dortmund in summer 2016, and helping them win it the following season. Schürrle spent the 2018/19 season on loan in England with Fulham in the Premier League and had a brief spell in Russia with Spartak Moscow before retiring at the age of 29 in 2020. He now has various business and investment ventures and is a father to two children.
10. Lukas Podolski
Third in Germany's all-time list of most-capped players, Podolski earned just two of his 130 caps in Brazil, in the group games against Portugal and USA. Famed for his thunderous left foot, the former Cologne and Bayern star was a highly valued (and popular) member of Germany's squad despite his limited minutes on the pitch, thanks to his experience and laid-back, jovial demeanour. 'Poldi' had a third and final season at Arsenal after Brazil 2014 and has had a nomadic career path ever since, taking in stints in Italy (Inter Milan), Turkey (Galatasaray, Antalyaspor), Japan (Vissel Kobe) and now Poland (Gornik Zabrze), where the now 37-year-old has been since summer 2021. But he still has strong links to his hometown of Cologne, including a popular kebab shop.
Watch: Podolski's best long-range goals
11. Miroslav Klose
The elder statesman of the 2014 squad at 36, the former Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich striker made himself an immortal in World Cup history with the second goal against the Selecao, overtaking Brazil's Ronaldo as the tournament's all-time leading scorer (16). He chose to bow out at the top after the World Cup, although he kept playing at club level with Lazio until summer 2016. Later that same year he began a DFB coaching course and joined Germany's staff. In May 2018, Klose was named Bayern’s U17 coach and was Flick's first-team assistant in 2020/21. He took his first role as head coach of a professional side at the start of 2022/23 with Austrian Bundesliga club SCR Altach.
Zieler was - and still is - regarded as a reliable pair of hands in goal. The former Manchester United goalkeeper had been a regular in Germany's squads since making his debut in a friendly against Ukraine in 2011, but was an unused substitute throughout the 2014 World Cup. He had two more seasons at Hannover after Brazil before a short-lived spell in the Premier League with Leicester City. Zieler, who was last called up to the national team in 2015, returned to Germany in 2017 with Stuttgart. He his now back at Hannover and is the team's first-choice custodian in Bundesliga 2.
13. Thomas Müller
A German famed for his sense of humour and laid-back manner? Don't be fooled by Müller's off-field charisma, though; he's as ruthless as they come when he steps onto a football pitch. Müller scored five times at Brazil 2014, taking his career World Cup total to 10, and the one-club man is still going strong at Bayern. The Bundesliga's top assist provider in both of the past two seasons, Müller remains one of the most respected - and elusive - attackers in the game.
Watch: Tireless Thomas Müller
14. Julian Draxler
Like Ginter, Draxler was just 20 when he joined up with Germany's all-conquering squad in 2014, having already had four seasons of Bundesliga football by that stage. The Schalke youth academy product came on a substitute as the eventual winners overwhelmed Brazil in Belo Horizonte while he was an unused sub in the showpiece against Argentina five days later. Draxler moved on to Wolfsburg ahead of the 2015/16 season before joining Paris Saint-Germain in January 2017. He played a big part in his nation's Euro 2016 semi-final run and captained Germany to Confederations Cup glory in 2017. Draxler has been a regular member of the national team's squads ever since, although in a more peripheral role. The 29-year-old earned the most recent of his 58 caps in March 2022 in a friendly against the Netherlands. He left PSG for Benfica in summer 2022.
15. Erik Durm
Just beginning to realise his phenomenal potential at Dortmund, full-back Durm was rewarded with a place in the 2014 squad for Brazil after his maiden Bundesliga season. Debuting against Cameroon in a pre-World Cup friendly, the then 22-year-old was an unused substitute at the finals but did collect four more caps in Euro 2016 qualifiers thereafter. Since then, however, he has suffered rotten luck on the injury front, with hip and ankle problems following two knee complaints, meaning his last Germany cap came in November 2014. He left Dortmund in 2017 and failed to play at all in 2017/18 owing to injury, before returning to action with Premier League side Huddersfield in 2018. Three campaigns at Eintracht Frankfurt followed – including their UEFA Europa League triumph in May 2022 – before he joined boyhood club Kaiserslautern in Bundesliga 2 for the 2022/23 campaign.
16. Philipp Lahm
On a roll of honour that read Fritz Walter (1954), Franz Beckenbauer (1974) and Lothar Matthäus (1990), the name Philipp Lahm was added in 2014. The Bayern great raised the trophy as captain of his country, just like those legendary players did before him. Lahm completed the most passes in Brazil, his tally standing at an immense 562, while his two assists in the semi-final win against Brazil added even more gloss. The former full-back turned defensive midfielder, once hailed by erstwhile Bayern tactician Pep Guardiola as the "most intelligent player I've ever coached", retired from the game in 2017 following 500 games and 21 titles. He is currently an ambassador for Germany's UEFA Euro 2024 bid and a consultant for Stuttgart.
Watch: Thanks for the memories, Philipp Lahm!
17. Per Mertesacker
The central defender played alongside Hummels for the opening four games of World Cup 2014 before Boateng was brought in from a wide position to start both the semi-final and the final. At 6'6", the ex-Hannover and Bremen colossus - affectionately known as the BFG - hung up his international boots after the tournament, with some 104 caps to reminisce upon. He retired as a player altogether in 2018 following seven seasons at Arsenal, where he won the FA Cup three times, and is now in charge of the Gunners' youth academy.
18. Toni Kroos
Already regarded as one of the finest midfielders in the game at the start of Brazil 2014, Kroos was well and truly a global star by the end of it. The technically gifted playmaker, who enjoyed a two-year loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen from Bayern from 2008 to 2010, had a fantastic tournament in central midfield in Brazil, starting every game and scoring twice in the statement 7-1 win against the hosts. He left Bayern for Real Madrid following the tournament, where he has remained ever since, winning the Champions League four more times since his 2013 success with Bayern.
19. Mario Götze
"Show the world you are better than Messi,” Löw told Götze before sending him into the 2014 World Cup final two minutes before the end of normal time. In the 113th minute, Super Mario netted the winning goal that brought Germany a fourth world crown. Only 22 then, Götze had made the switch from Dortmund to Guardiola's Bayern only the previous year. Following three up-and-down seasons in Bavaria, he returned to Dortmund where a metabolic illness and a series of injuries limited his playing time. Götze enjoyed two successful seasons in the Netherlands at PSV Eindhoven before returning to the Bundesliga with Frankfurt in 2022/23. His fine form for the Eagles earned him a recall to the Germany squad for the 2022 World Cup, where he collected his first cap since November 2017.
Watch: Analysing Mario Götze
20. Jerome Boateng
Germany's Mr. Versatile at the finals, Boateng was used on the right of defence and at centre-back and was another of those who played a part in all seven matches, group stage to final. The Berlin native went on to fill his trophy cabinet further at Bayern, where he spent 10 seasons in total before joining Lyon in summer 2021. Now 34, he earned the last of his 76 Germany caps in a UEFA Nations League defeat by the Netherlands in October 2018.
21. Shkodran Mustafi
Mustafi was still at the start of his career when the stars aligned for him. Just 22 at the time, he made his Germany debut in May 2014 after an impressive season at Sampdoria. He was cut from Löw's original World Cup squad but was later recalled as the chief beneficiary of Marco Reus' misfortune (more on that below). He took to the pitch three times in Brazil before joining Valencia after the tournament. Mustafi subsequently had spells at Arsenal and Schalke, and now laces his boots in Spain for Levante. He won the last of his 20 Germany caps in October 2017.
The second-oldest player in the squad at 33, Weidenfeller was back-up to Neuer throughout the tournament but never actually took to the pitch in Brazil. He won the first of just five Germany caps in November 2013, with his final appearance coming against Gibraltar in a European Championship qualifier in June 2015. The long-standing Dortmund goalkeeper won two Bundesliga titles and two DFB Cups during his 16 uninterrupted years at the club, even if 2014/15 was his last campaign as first-choice custodian following the arrival of Roman Bürki. He hung up his gloves for good at the end of 2017/18 and is now part of Dortmund's Legends network as well as working as a pundit for German channel RTL.
Watch: Boateng's Bundesliga mixtape
23. Christoph Kramer
Like Mustafi, Kramer was something of a surprise inclusion in the final squad, having only made his senior debut a month earlier. Just 23 at the time, Kramer had enjoyed an impressive debut Bundesliga campaign with Borussia Mönchengladbach, scoring three times in 33 appearances in central midfield after originally joining on loan from Leverkusen. Although he did not feature at all in the group stage in Brazil, he did play against both Algeria (last 16) and France (quarter-finals) and was a surprise starter in the final against Argentina after Khedira withdrew in the warm-up through injury. He only lasted half an hour of that match, however, before being substituted off for Andre Schürrle due to concussion after asking the referee: "Is this the World Cup final?". Kramer remains a key player for Gladbach, where he is now in his ninth season, and is a highly regarded pundit for Germany TV channel ZDF for international games.
Honorary mention for: Marco Reus
The attacking midfielder, 25 at the time, was in Löw's original World Cup squad and was set to play a big role in Brazil. However, he injured his ankle in the team's last warm-up game against Armenia, just 10 days ahead of the finals, which ruled him out of the tournament altogether. He was not forgotten though, with close friend Götze holding aloft a Germany shirt with Reus' name on the back during their on-pitch celebrations after the final. The current Dortmund captain did get to go to a World Cup four years later, before lighting struck again and injury ruled him out of 2022.
Coach: Joachim Löw
Having previously been Germany assistant coach under Jürgen Klinsmann, Löw stepped into the hotseat in July 2006 when his former boss decided not to renew is contract. The duo were key in re-imagining German football and were key proponents of a more modern, pro-active, attacking style. After several near misses, including defeat in the 2008 European Championship final and the semi-finals at both the 2010 World Cup and 2012 Euros, Germany's progress was finally rewarded with the 2014 triumph. Die Mannschaft were widely fancied to retain their title in Russia in 2018, particularly after sweeping to Confederations Cup glory a year earlier with what was essentially a reserve team. Löw stayed on as head coach until the end of the 2020 European Championship, which took place in summer 2021, his 15 years in the role the longest ever for an international tactician.
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