How Germany’s 14-Year Plan Destroyed Brazil

By the end it was hard to watch Germany’s 7-1 demolition of Brazil. Poor Andre Schürrle, the substitute who came in at striker for Germany in the second half, couldn’t quite celebrate his two goals the way Thomas Müller had when he scored the first goal in the 11th minute. A friend watching at a bar in Berlin reported that when Oscar finally scored for Brazil in the 90th minute, all the Germans in the bar offered an empathy cheer.

Brazil certainly underperformed on Tuesday and throughout the World Cup. Its wins have all been lucky, barely, or both. But Brazil didn’t just fall apart against Germany (although it certainly did fall apart). Germany beat them with the precise and inspiring soccer it’s played all month in Brazil. This is not an accident, a golden blessing of a generation of talented fussballers. It follows a 14-year plan to find all the kids among 80 million Germans who can really play soccer, train them young, and get them attached to a professional team.

All countries do this, kind of. Belgium does it really well. After tonight’s game you could argue that Germany does it best.

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