Germany's 2014 World Cup winners starting XI: Where are they now?

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Die Mannschaft are one of the most successful countries in international competition, winning four World Cups and three European Championships.

The 2014 World Cup was Germany's most recent major trophy and their campaign to win it was far from simple. Even so, one of the major highlights of the tournament, for them at least, was the 7-1 dismantling of host nation Brazil.

Low had a star-studded squad at his disposal, with the likes of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Manuel Neuer in his team. So, what happened to this German 'golden generation', where are the players now?

GK: Manuel Neuer - Bayern Munich

Manuel Neuer has been one of the world's best goalkeepers for many years, even making the final shortlist for the Ballon D'or - which has only ever been won by a goalkeeper once in 1963 when Russian legend Lev Yashin took home the crown.

He has been in UEFA's team of the year five times since his first nomination in 2008. During the 2014 World Cup campaign, Neuer plied his trade as Bayern Munich's number one and still plays there today.

He has made over 300 appearances for Bayern Munich and in 2020 helped make history as the Bavarians became only the second-ever team to win six trophies in a single season - matching Barcelona's feat of 2009.

RB: Philipp Lahm - Retired

Philipp Lahm was the captain of both the German national team and Bayern Munich during the 2013/14 season. Although, shortly after the World Cup win he announced his international retirement. It wasn't until 2017, that he hung up his boots for good.

He spent the whole of his career at Die Roten and is widely regarded as one of the best full-backs of all time. He was also very crafty and, despite receiving plenty of yellow cards, was never sent off in his career, which is pretty astonishing for a defender.

Lahm has now moved behind the scenes of the footballing world and is working as the German Football Association's tournament director for Euro 2024.

CB: Jerome Boateng - Lyon

Jerome Boateng has been somewhat of a journeyman throughout his career but, like many of his German team-mates, spent a large portion of his time at Bayern Munich.

Despite being one of the lesser-known player's in the Germany squad at the time, Boateng played a vital role in Germany's 2014 triumph. He played all 120 minutes of the final and only committed one foul throughout.

The centre-back was also chosen to represent Germany in the 2016 Euros and 2018 World Cup but didn't get the nod for Euro 2020 and has not played for Die Mannschaft since 2018.

He plays for Lyon in Ligue 1 and his contract with the French club runs until June 2023.

CB: Mats Hummels - Borussia Dortmund

Mats Hummels has spent all of his career between the two biggest rivals in German football, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. The majority of his career, however, has been spent with the latter in yellow and black.

The centre-back was an integral part of much of Germany's success in the 2010s and has not yet retired from international football. He even managed to force his way into the Euro 2020 squad despite Low stating the national team was ready to move on without him.

However, his last game for Germany was the round of 16 loss to England at that tournament and it seems increasingly unlikely he will add to his 76 national caps. He wasn't selected in the Germany squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

LB: Benedikt Howedes - Retired

Benedikt Howedes played every single minute of the 2014 World Cup, a feat which only three players in Germany's team managed to achieve.

The defender's main strength is at centre-back but he was often deployed at left full-back for Germany and such was the case throughout the 2014 World Cup. He retired from international football in 2017 and played domestic football for another four seasons before hanging up his boots for good in 2020.

He didn't leave football behind entirely, though, and is now the assistant manager of the German national team. He is doing a trainee programme alongside his UEFA Master's degree to become a fully-qualified football manager.

CM: Christoph Kramer - Borussia Monchengladbach

At 23 years old, Christoph Kramer was the youngest player to start for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final. Though his appearance was unfortunately short-lived as he was forced off the pitch in the first half after picking up a concussion.

While he was only on loan at Monchengladbach during the 2014 World Cup, and he's still there now after joining the club on a permanent deal. He has played over 150 times for the club and scored five goals.

CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger - Retired

One of the most well-known names in the team during the 2014 World Cup was Bastian Schweinsteiger. The centre midfielder spent the majority of his career at Bayern Munich but did spend some time in the Premier League with Manchester United and at Chicago Fire in the MLS towards the end of his career.

Because of Germany's incredible depth in midfield back then, he didn't play every game for the national team during that tournament but when he did get on the park he was exceptional. Schweinsteiger retired in 2019 and will be in the commentary booth for ARD (Germany's public service broadcaster) during the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

CM: Toni Kroos - Real Madrid

Toni Kroos was 24 and just getting into the swing of his professional career at the 2014 World Cup. Despite that, he was already being trusted as Germany's playmaker and played every minute of the final. He also contributed to Germany's 7-1 domination of Brazil in the semi-finals by scoring twice. He was so impressive, in fact, that he was included on the 10-man shortlist for player of the tournament but ultimately lost out to the one-and-only Lionel Messi.

Just four days after the World Cup, Kroos was signed by Real Madrid and remains one of their key players to this day. He has played over 250 games for Los Blancos and won 17 pieces of silverware with them, including four Champions League trophies and La Liga three times.

RW: Thomas Muller - Bayern Munich

Thomas Muller is another player Low felt Germany was ready to move on from but wasn't able to find a suitable replacement before the 2014 tournament. Despite the lack of faith before the World Cup, Muller started and played the entire final.

He also scored the 2014 tournament's first hat-trick and received the Silver Boot for being the second-highest goal scorer during the World Cup.

The striker has spent the entirety of his career with Bayern Munich and has made more appearances for the club (641 at time of writing) than all but one other person, Sepp Maier - who played for the Bavarians 700 times.

He looks set to see out his career with Die Roten, although it probably won't be any time soon as his contract runs until the end of the 2023/24 season.

ST: Miroslav Klose - Retired

The 2014 World Cup was the final international tournament of Miroslav Klose's career. At the time, he was only the third player in history to score in four separate World Cups.

In addition, he scored two goals at the 2014 event that took him past Brazilian Ronaldo's record of 15 World Cup goals and also became Germany's all-time leading goalscorer. It took less than a month after the end of the tournament for him to announce his international retirement and stopped playing entirely in 2016. Almost instantaneously, he was included on the German national team's coaching staff but has since moved on and is now manager of Rheindorf Altach in the top tier of Austrian football.

LW: Mesut Ozil - Istanbul Basaksehir

Mesut Ozil came into the 2014 World Cup off the back of an incredible debut season for Arsenal that earned him a nomination for the Ballon d'Or. He took that form into the global showpiece and was integral to the German team throughout.

After the tournament, he had a few more good years with Arsenal until the relationship soured and he left for Turkey to join Fenerbahce.

Unfortunately, he had a falling out there too and left for Istanbul Basanksehir in July 2022.

While Istanbul is not a common place for German footballers to see out the end of their careers, Ozil's Turkish heritage makes it less unusual.

Bonus Player: Mario Gotze - Frankfurt

The German World Cup-winning team can't be mentioned without including the reason why they won. Mario Gotze was the hero for Germany after scoring the only goal of the final in the 113th minute of the game.

Since that goal, however, Gotze's career has been far from smooth.

The season before the World Cup, the midfielder signed for Bayern Munich from their arch-rivals, Borussia Dortmund but later returned to the yellow and black stating he regretted his decision to join the Bavarians.

In the 2016/17 season, the attacking midfielder was withdrawn from all Dortmund activities due to suffering from a medical condition called myopathy, which causes fatigue and weight gain.

He made a full recovery but never seemed to be able to hit the footballing heights that he achieved for Germany or Dortmund before his illness.

He rediscovered some form following a move to PSV Eindhoven in 2020, and then managed to earn a £2.5m move to Eintracht Frankfurt in June 2022. At Frankfurt he has helped the team into the top four in the Bundesliga and qualify for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Despite not playing for Germany since a friendly against France in November 2017, the 30-year-old's recent performances earned him a call-up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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