Already held in the highest esteem the world over, Germany coach Joachim Löw's stock rose yet further on Sunday as he recorded his 100th victory in charge of the national side.
bundesliga.com traces the ambitions of the 2014 FIFA World Cup winning tactician and assesses the effect the he has had on Germany's pool of top-flight talent.
Löw's tournament squad for the World Cup warm-up in Russia contains a host of the Bundesliga’s most exciting young stars, and the 57-year-old declared his intent on experimenting with many of the country’s biggest prospects prior to reaching his landmark win against Cameroon.
“The Confederations Cup is a gift that helps us achieve our goal for next year,” Löw said, with an eye on Germany's title defence in 2018. “We can improve the players with us at this tournament [while] I can experiment under competitive conditions.”
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Cologne, Bayer Leverkusen, Hertha Berlin, Schalke, Hoffenheim, RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach are the Bundesliga sides presently boasting representation on the world stage with Germany, who have the youngest squad at this year’s Confederations Cup. The process of putting faith in talented youngsters began under former Mannschaft boss Jurgen Klinsmann, whom Löw worked under as assistant.
Speaking in his previous capacity as USMNT coach, Klinsmann said of Löw: “"He's a close friend of mine and I have a lot of admiration for what he's achieved over the years. Wherever I go around the world, the football community talks about Germany’s achievements and Joachim Löw’s achievements specifically. They are now reaping the rewards of what the DFB [German Football Association] is all about, namely youth promotion and talent promotion. The Bundesliga is one of the strongest leagues in Europe."
Löw - who recently signed a contract extension until 2020 - enjoyed the most successful start of any Germany coach, winning his first five games in charge after taking up the reins from Klinsmann in 2006. An opening 3-0 triumph against Sweden – secured via a Miroslav Klose brace and a further strike from Bernd Schneider of Leverkusen – started the ball rolling for the former attacking midfielder.
Following a second-place finish at UEFA EURO 2008, Germany were third at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, before going on to win the world showpiece four years later. Löw famously sent Mario Götze into the game as a late substitute, with the Borussia Dortmund schemer breaking the deadlock against Argentina in Rio in extra-time. “I said to Götze, [before sending him into the action] ‘OK, show the world you are better than Messi and that you can decide the World Cup.’ I always had a good feeling about Götze.” With that triumph, Germany became the first European team to lift the World Cup on South American soil.
Speaking at the Laureus World Sports Awards about the victory, Löw said, "In 2000 and 2004, German football was down and out. We went out in the group phases so we took decisive steps and invested more in the players' education. We created centres of excellence and I am grateful for the clubs who did that. The World Cup victory [was] a product of the excellent education and training in Germany.
“Over the years the German league, the clubs, the German Football Association and of course the coaches have optimised their training methods, implementing a number of measures that are now bearing fruit ten, 12 or 15 years later,” the ex-Stuttgart tactician added. “We are fortunate in having a large number of talented players. The Bundesliga has a huge influence on the team and the training the young players get.”
So, it’s congratulations on win number 100 Herr Löw. And here’s to another century of successes in charge!