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Germany's World Cup triumph has far from satisfied team's appetite

World Cup final 2014: Germany v Argentina Close

Mario Goetze of Germany (L) celebrates scoring his team's goal with Thomas Mueller against Argentina

Mario Goetze of Germany (L) celebrates scoring his team's goal with Thomas Mueller against Argentina

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Mesut Oezil of Germany holds the World Cup trophy while celebrating with teammates

Mesut Oezil of Germany holds the World Cup trophy while celebrating with teammates

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Germany celebrate after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Germany celebrate after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany celebrates with the World Cup trophy after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany celebrates with the World Cup trophy after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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Philipp Lahm of Germany lifts the World Cup trophy with teammates

Philipp Lahm of Germany lifts the World Cup trophy with teammates

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Germany's Mats Hummels and Argentina's Ezequiel Lavezzi battle for the ball during the FIFA World Cup Final at the Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janerio, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 13, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation.

Germany's Mats Hummels and Argentina's Ezequiel Lavezzi battle for the ball during the FIFA World Cup Final at the Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janerio, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 13, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation.

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Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after putting the ball into the back of the net but the goal is disallowed for offside during the FIFA World Cup Final at the Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janerio, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 13, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation.

Argentina's Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after putting the ball into the back of the net but the goal is disallowed for offside during the FIFA World Cup Final at the Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janerio, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday July 13, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Final. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation.

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Christoph Kramer of Germany lies on the pitch after a collision during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Christoph Kramer of Germany lies on the pitch after a collision during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Referee Nicola Rizzoli intervenes as Ezequiel Lavezzi (L), Pablo Zabaleta (C) and Marcos Rojo of Argentina clash with Thomas Mueller of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Referee Nicola Rizzoli intervenes as Ezequiel Lavezzi (L), Pablo Zabaleta (C) and Marcos Rojo of Argentina clash with Thomas Mueller of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Referee Nicola Rizzoli intervenes as Ezequiel Lavezzi (L), Pablo Zabaleta (C) and Marcos Rojo of Argentina clash with Thomas Mueller of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Referee Nicola Rizzoli intervenes as Ezequiel Lavezzi (L), Pablo Zabaleta (C) and Marcos Rojo of Argentina clash with Thomas Mueller of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Head coach Joachim Loew of Germany looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Head coach Joachim Loew of Germany looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Head coach Alejandro Sabella of Argentina looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Head coach Alejandro Sabella of Argentina looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13:  Football fans supporting the German national team watch the FIFA World Cup final on a big screen in the 'Bavarian Beerhouse' pub in East London on July 13, 2014 in London, England. The FIFA World Cup final will take place in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro between Germany and Argentina, with an expected global television audience of more than a billion viewers.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Football fans supporting the German national team watch the FIFA World Cup final on a big screen in the 'Bavarian Beerhouse' pub in East London on July 13, 2014 in London, England. The FIFA World Cup final will take place in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro between Germany and Argentina, with an expected global television audience of more than a billion viewers. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Referee Nicola Rizzoli gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Referee Nicola Rizzoli gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14:  An Argentina fan at Hophaus reacts after a missed chance for goal while watching the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final match between Germany and Argentina on July 14, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: An Argentina fan at Hophaus reacts after a missed chance for goal while watching the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final match between Germany and Argentina on July 14, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13:  Football fans supporting the German national team watch the FIFA World Cup final on a big screen in the 'Bavarian Beerhouse' pub in East London on July 13, 2014 in London, England. The FIFA World Cup final will take place in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro between Germany and Argentina, with an expected global television audience of more than a billion viewers.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 13: Football fans supporting the German national team watch the FIFA World Cup final on a big screen in the 'Bavarian Beerhouse' pub in East London on July 13, 2014 in London, England. The FIFA World Cup final will take place in the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro between Germany and Argentina, with an expected global television audience of more than a billion viewers. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina scores a goal past Manuel Neuer of Germany but it is disallowed due to offsides being called during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina scores a goal past Manuel Neuer of Germany but it is disallowed due to offsides being called during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14:  German fans at Hophaus react after conceding a goal that was later ruled offside while watching the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final match between Germany and Argentina on July 14, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 14: German fans at Hophaus react after conceding a goal that was later ruled offside while watching the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final match between Germany and Argentina on July 14, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina scores a goal but it is disallowed due to offsides as Philipp Lahm of Germany gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina scores a goal but it is disallowed due to offsides as Philipp Lahm of Germany gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Lionel Messi of Argentina and Thomas Mueller of Germany appeal to referee Nicola Rizzoli as Martin Demichelis of Argentina speaks to Philipp Lahm of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Lionel Messi of Argentina and Thomas Mueller of Germany appeal to referee Nicola Rizzoli as Martin Demichelis of Argentina speaks to Philipp Lahm of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Benedikt Hoewedes of Germany reacts after a missed chance as Lucas Biglia of Argentina looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Benedikt Hoewedes of Germany reacts after a missed chance as Lucas Biglia of Argentina looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Toni Kroos of Germany and Enzo Perez of Argentina compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Toni Kroos of Germany and Enzo Perez of Argentina compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Mesut Oezil of Germany controls the ball against Enzo Perez (L) and  Pablo Zabaleta of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Mesut Oezil of Germany controls the ball against Enzo Perez (L) and Pablo Zabaleta of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Mesut Oezil of Germany controls the ball against Pablo Zabaleta (L) and Enzo Perez of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Mesut Oezil of Germany controls the ball against Pablo Zabaleta (L) and Enzo Perez of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Ezequiel Lavezzi of Argentina and Andre Schuerrle of Germany compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Ezequiel Lavezzi of Argentina and Andre Schuerrle of Germany compete for the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Referee Nicola Rizzoli separates Thomas Mueller of Germany and Marcos Rojo of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Referee Nicola Rizzoli separates Thomas Mueller of Germany and Marcos Rojo of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Benedikt Hoewedes of Germany competes for the ball with Ezequiel Lavezzi of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Benedikt Hoewedes of Germany competes for the ball with Ezequiel Lavezzi of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina celebrates scoring a disallowed goal with teammate Marcos Rojo during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina celebrates scoring a disallowed goal with teammate Marcos Rojo during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany reacts after being shown a yellow card during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany reacts after being shown a yellow card during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany is shown a yellow card by referee Nicola Rizzoli during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany is shown a yellow card by referee Nicola Rizzoli during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina celebrates scoring a disallowed goal with teammate Marcos Rojo during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina celebrates scoring a disallowed goal with teammate Marcos Rojo during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Lionel Messi of Argentina speaks to a linesman during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Lionel Messi of Argentina speaks to a linesman during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Lionel Messi of Argentina speaks to a linesman during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Lionel Messi of Argentina speaks to a linesman during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Ezequiel Lavezzi of Argentina controls the ball against Benedikt Hoewedes (L) and Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Ezequiel Lavezzi of Argentina controls the ball against Benedikt Hoewedes (L) and Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Enzo Perez of Argentina is challenged by Mesut Oezil of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Enzo Perez of Argentina is challenged by Mesut Oezil of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

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Mario Goetze of Germany (L) celebrates scoring his team's goal with Thomas Mueller against Argentina

The aftermath of a World Cup final in the area of the stadium in which journalists and players can mix is always an intriguing environment.

One squad of players walks in as just your average superstar internationals, and walks out hours later having written their names into history.

In 2002, in Yokohama, the Brazilian team emerged en masse singing, dancing, playing drums and tambourines with the trophy carried before them.

The Italians came out in 2006 like men released from jail, after the Calciopoli scandal of the previous months had dragged the reputation of their game into the muck.

The Spanish in 2010 emerged to share the moment with their media, with whom they have a close relationship, like glowing children greeting their parents at sports day.

On Sunday, the Germany team, as is their way, walked out as if adding the fourth star to their shirt was the most perfectly normal thing in the world.

Germany as Weltmeister? It fits. Third place in 2006 and 2010, the Euro 2008 beaten finalists and semi-finalists at Euro 2012, one can hardly say it had not been coming.

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"We started this project 10 years ago," said Joachim Low. The only question that remains is how much longer the great German 21st Century generation can continue to dominate the game?

In football, we have come to believe that all success comes in cycles and that even the best must eventually cede the throne, or, like Spain at this World Cup, have it seized.

But Germany have refined a system that is consistently producing players of the top level. In this tournament alone they were denied Marco Reus, Ilkay Gundongan and Lars Bender through injury.

Julian Draxler played just 14 minutes. Even Mario Gotze, the substitute who scored the match-winning goal in the final, was lightly-used.

Last season at Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola challenged Gotze to try to attain the levels that Lionel Messi has reached.

It will be intriguing to see how Gotze develops in his second season at Bayern. His winning goal is one further step towards being the level of player which Germany believe he can be.

Aside from the 36-year-old Miroslav Klose, now surely set to call time on his glorious international career, the oldest outfield player in the squad is Philipp Lahm at 30.

Bastian Schweinsteiger will be 33 come the next World Cup finals; Manuel Neuer will be 32; Mats Hummels, 29; Thomas Muller, 28; Gotze, 26. They will all be more than capable of defending their title, the question will be whom the Germans have developed by then to challenge the older guard.

"You never know what happens in the future," Schweinsteiger said. "But we are fit, we are hungry and we have some good players who are around 25 years of age. It will give us hunger.

"We have some players who have a big future and I think the Spain team and the Brazilian team changed a little bit.

"We believe we are now the No 1 team in the world. We have to enjoy this and not talk about the future much.

"The most important thing is that we have quality, we have quality players, and that we have the tradition in our game. We have the mentality of the Germans."

Naturally, all paths lead back to that Germany Under-21s team that beat England 4-0 in the Under-21s European Championship final in Malmö five years ago.

Had Sami Khedira been fit to start Sunday's final, six players from that Under-21s team – Neuer, Benedikt Höwedes, Jérôme Boateng, Khedira, Özil and Hummels – would have started the game against Argentina. An astonishing return.

Asked whether this was Germany's best generation, Hummels dodged the question.

"I was only born in 1988. I only saw 20 years of German football. Maybe it's the best generation of the ones I have seen, but I can't say anything about 1974, 1982, 1986, 1990.

"We knew that this was a special team in 2009. We're very happy with what has happened. Winning the World Cup is something special."

Indeed, it gets no bigger than and the challenge now is to keep this golden generation hungry for more success.

They will be received in Berlin as heroes. They seem, on the whole, to be a humble, grounded bunch, but they now have a status that German footballers have not experienced for a generation.

Later this month, the Under-19s European Championship is staged in Hungary with Germany involved, although not England. The English are European champions at Under-17 level, Spain at Under-21.

If ever there was evidence of the importance of junior tournaments, it was at the Maracana on Sunday night when six Under-21s team-mates carried out the World Cup trophy.


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