RIO DE JANEIRO, Germany captain Philipp Lahm hailed his side’s collective ability as they downed Lionel Messi’s Argentina 1-0 to win the World Cup for fourth time in Rio de Janeriro on Sunday.
Substitute Mario Goetze grabbed the only goal of the game in extra time as Argentina paid for missing a host of good chances through Gonzalo Higuain, Messi and Rodrigo Palacio to take the lead.
“It’s unbelievable what we have achieved. Whether we have the best individual player doesn’t matter at all, you just need to have the best team,” said the Bayern Munich defender.
“We improved throughout the tournament and didn’t get down when things didn’t always go our way, we just stuck to our path and at the end we’re standing here as world champions.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling. The team stayed calm and patient, we knew that we had something left at the end.”
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella was left ruing his side’s failure to take their chances after the South Americans’ World Cup final defeat to Germany.
Gonzalo Higuain missed a glorious first half chance to put Argentina 1-0 ahead while Lionel Messi also squandered a good opening in the second half.
Instead Germany, who controlled possession, struck an extra-time winner through Mario Goetze.
“It was a very balanced game,” Sabella said.
“They had more possesion, but we had more cutting edge, more chances.
“When there are chances in a game that is so evenly balanced you have to take them. We lacked a bit of efficiency.”
Sabella meanwhile praised his players for recovering from a gruelling semi-final to take Germany all the way to the wire.
“We played a day later and extra time and the only thing I can do is congratulate my players,” he said.
“The work they did was extraordinary and also congratulate Germany.”