The German national team caused many surprises and won many admirers with its performance in South Africa. Choosing a young team with some extremely gifted talent, Germany proved an extremely good side and made England look rather stupid along the way.
This was only the beginning for a hugely exciting future for both Germany’s national and domestic game. All across the Bundesliga, young talent is coming through, and it is coming through in vast and endless waves.
These youngsters are getting regular competitive top-level football. Take, for instance, Bayer Leverkusen’s Sidney Sam, a player who has particularly impressed me lately. He is slightly older than the young group of German stars who lit up the World Cup, not to mention the hugely promising ones coming behind them. But at 23 years-old he is young, quick, highly technically gifted and has played a very important role in a successful Bayer 04 season, which looks set to see this young side earn Champions’ League qualification. Yet Sam can get nowhere near the national side. This shows the scale and extent of German youth development.