Germany's World Cup win was set in motion for years before they lifted the trophy. The trophy was the ultimate prize for forward thinking and 'Vorsprung durch Vorbereitung'.
Long before the World Cup even started, Germany had started to prepare for the tournament. A group of students were compiling databases on their opponents to make sure that they have every single bit of information at their disposal. In the years before that, the Bundesliga had started to build and blossom. At this year's tournament, 15 players of the 22-man squad came from the German domestic league. With the foundations set in place years before, Germany now just had to build the palace, almost literally.
In the lead-up to the tournament, they built their own training facility. In Santo Andre, a purpose-built facility allowed the players to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city traffic and gain every conceivable sporting advantage throughout the tournament. How much the seclusion did or didn't work for them will be debated, but they are World Champions.
Germany had been the most complete team throughout the entire tournament and while it took until deep into extra time for them to seal...