Investment in youth put Germany back on the footballing map

With English football in a state of reflection after yet another unconvincing tournament, a lot has been said within the press that this country should perhaps look to the German set-up as a blueprint to go forward.

Dietmar Hamann believes that 2004 was the turning point for German football in giving youth the chance in the national team for the greater good in building a team for the future:

I think they changed a lot with the youth development; they put centres of excellence in place where they observed the best players from every region and I believe it was a highly successful structure to have. As a result we produced a host of younger players over the coming years that are still playing today and are the spine of the team. I think this was definitely a change for the better which put German football back on the map.”

Hamann does wonder if there is enough experience in the squad in order to go all the way, but feels only time will tell:

Yes, I think so. There are only one or two players in the squad that are over 30 years old and they are forwards, such as Miroslav Klose and you need that mix in a team. Having said that a lot of players come from Bayern Munich and they’ve played in Champions League final, World Cup Semi final and European Championship finals so they are very experienced. Nevertheless you do wonder if it comes to the semi final/final whether they have enough experienced players to change the result from two and four years ago. There have been a few near misses in recent tournaments and psychologically that can play on your mind.”

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