In 2014, Germany won the World Cup in Brazil and became the first European nation to win the planet’s most coveted trophy on American soil. And they achieved that by beating one of the greatest national teams from the Americas.
Germany’s 2014 World Cup Winning Starting 6
Today, we want to look at that history-making Germany XI and where they are right now.
1. Manuel Neuer
Let’s start with Manuel Neuer. The goalie won the Golden Glove in that tournament at the age of 28, and that year, he finished 3rd in the Ballon d’Or rankings. Neuer went on to become captain of both Bayern Munich and the Germany national team. He led Bayern to winning the sextuple in 2020.
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Right now, he’s 37 and still going strong. His 2022-23 season was cut short midway because of a ski accident which broke his leg, but we expect to see the veteran back in action next season.
2. Phillip Lahm
Phillip Lahm was the captain of that World Cup winning squad. Lahm was already in his 30s when that tournament was played, so he didn’t have much time left. Immediately after he lifted the World Cup, he retired from international football.
He played for Bayern for 3 more years and then retired from professional football altogether in 2017 and was immediately entered into Bayern Munich’s Hall of Fame.
That same year, Lahm was made an honorary ambassador for Germany’s bid to host Euro 2024. He was a Euro 2020 ambassador and is the country’s tournament director for Euro 2024.
3. Jerome Boateng
At center-back was Jerome Boateng. Just like most of the guys in that starting 11, he was also playing for Bayern Munich at the time. After beating Messi’s Argentina in that final in 2014, Boateng infamously fell to Messi in the Champions League semi-final the following year. But he would go on to win the sextuple with Bayern in 2020, so that makes up for everything, doesn’t it?
He finally left Bayern in 2021 and joined Lyon where he currently plays.
4. Matt Hummels
Matt Hummels was also at the center-back in that tournament, and you guessed right! He was also a product of Bayern Munich, but he moved to Dortmund in 2008 and was a player there in 2014.
In 2016, he moved back to Bayern, and then moved back to Dortmund again in 2019. Right now, he’s the vice-captain of the Dortmund first team, assisting Marco Reus.
5. Benedikt Howedes
At left-back, they had Benedikt Howedes. He’s not the best known name, but he was very important for Germany in that tournament. He was playing for Schalke 04 at the time, and then, in 2017, he spent a year on loan at Juventus before then moving to Lokomotiv Moscow.
He stayed there for 2 years and then retired from professional football in 2020.
In 2021, he started a trainee program to become a coach after he obtained his UEFA Master’s degree. Right now, he works as assistant manager in the Germany national team.
6. Bastian Schweinsteiger
The team had Bastian Schweinsteiger at the midfield. He was the next captain of the Germany national team after Lahm retired in 2014. He himself then retired from international football in 2016.
Of course, Schweinsteiger was a Bayern Munich player at the time, but he moved to Man United in 2015 where things quickly went sour for him.
After 2 years in England, he moved to the US to join Chicago Fire. He spent 2 years there and then he retired from professional football in 2019.
Immediately after his retirement, he was hired by ARD, a broadcasting company in Germany, to work on live broadcast of matches up until the 2022 World Cup.
7. Kristoph Kramer
In midfield, Germany also had Kristoph Kramer, the youngest guy in that starting lineup. He was just 23 during that tournament and was playing for Borussia Monchengladbach on loan from Bayer Leverkusen.
In 2016, he moved permanently to Monchengladbach and he still plays there till today.
It should be said, though, that Kramer only played that final because of an injury to Sami Khedira just minutes before kickoff. But Kramer himself was then substituted in the first half because of a concussion.
The referee revealed that Kramer came to him some minutes after colliding with Ezequiel Gary and asked him if the match they were playing was the final. The ref informed the captains and the change was made immediately.
8. Toni Kroos
To complete the midfield that day was none other than Toni Kroos. Kroos was playing at Bayern at the time, but that summer, he moved to Real Madrid and has gone on to be one of the most decorated players of his generation. Right now, no player has won more FIFA Club World Cup trophies than him.
He retired from international football in 2021 after Germany got knocked out of the competition by England in the round of 16.
Despite rumors that he’ll be leaving Real Madrid this summer, it appears that Kroos will be staying for, at least, one more year.
9. Thomas Muller
Up front, they had Thomas Muller on the right. He was just 24 during this tournament, but was one of the most important players for the team. He finished with the Silver Boot and the Silver Ball in that tournament.
Of course, he, too, was playing for Bayern at the time and he still does. He was one of the guys who completed the sextuple in 2020.
Muller is the player with the most Bundesliga titles won and the most decorated German player in football history. He has a contract with Bayern that should keep him at the club until 2024.
10. Mesut Ozil
Mesut Ozil occupied the left-wing forward position in that final against Argentina. He was playing for Arsenal at that time and was the only player in the Germany starting XI who was playing in the Premier League at the time.
Things were great for Ozil all-round back then until they started getting really ugly in 2018. First, Ozil, who is of Turkish descent, received a lot of backlash from German fans and media for taking a picture with the president of Turkey, Recep Erdogan, in 2018.
All that culminated in Ozil retiring from international football that year.
Then in 2019, he started to see less and less game time at Arsenal under Arteta, and that led to him ultimately leaving the club in 2021. He joined Fenerbahce in 2021, spent a year there, and then moved to Istanbul Basaksehir in 2022.
Ozil finally retired from professional football in March 2023 because of incessant injuries.
Oh, we should also mention that Ozil is one hell of a businessman. He’s a part owner of Necaxa, a football club in Mexico. He also runs a Unity Health supplements laboratory with former Arsenal teammate, Mathieu Flamini.
11. Miroslav Klose
Finally, Germany had their record-holder Miroslav Klose leading the attack. At 36, he was the oldest player in the XI and was certainly playing in his last World Cup tournament. In that tournament, he became the first player to appear in 4 consecutive World Cup semi-finals and also became the highest goalscorer in the history of the World Cup.
A month after Germany won the World Cup, Klose retired from international football. At this time, he was playing for Lazio and was the only player in that XI who was playing in the Serie A.
He was at Lazio until 2016 when he finally hung his boots at the age of 38.
Immediately after retiring, he went into coaching. He started out by joining the Germany national team coaching team in 2016.
In 2018, he moved to Bayern to become their under-17 coach. Then in 2020, he moved up and became assistant coach to Hansi Flick at the Bayern first team.
In 2022, he got his first gig as a first team coach after he was hired by Rheindorf Altach in the Austrian Bundesliga. He left that role in 2023.
That’s the starting XI in that final, but you know we just could not go without talking about this guy – Mario Gotze.
12. Mario Gotze
The then 22-year-old came on in the 88th minute of the final and got the only goal of the game in the 113th minute which won Germany the trophy.
He was playing at Bayern at the time after leaving Dortmund in 2013. But he moved back to Dortmund in 2016. Then in 2020, he moved to PSV, spent 2 years there, and then moved to Eintracht Frankfurt where he currently plays.
Despite winning the 2014 World Cup for them, Gotze was left out of the squad that traveled to Russia in 2018. But he was recalled to the squad for the first time in 5 years for the 2022 World Cup.
What team would you like us to do next? Let us know in the comments.