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Germany’s Bright Future: The Next Generation Of German Superstars

Germany’s World Cup campaign was certainly an enjoyable one. Loew’s side played an attacking brand of football that wowed audiences and stunned critics. The German national team hit four past Australia, England and Argentina; certainly a feat worth noting. What’s most interesting is how the youth of the German national team showed that they can be relied on to make a big impact under intense pressure. Loew’s side had an average age of just 24 years old, nearly the youngest German World Cup squad of all time.

With players like Thomas Mueller, who walked away with the Golden Boot and Young Player of the Tournament awards, Mesut Ozil, who astounded crowds with his flair, creativity, and ability to create something out of nothing and  Sami Khedira, who stepped up into Michael Ballack’s role and handled it with efficiency and style, you could say that Germany could be set for another golden age. What’s even more incredible, is that Bundesliga clubs are constantly churning out talented young players who could well go on to make an incredible impact on the national team in the future. While Thomas Mueller and Mesut Ozil and so many others will have shone so brightly in South Africa, a new generation is already coming through the system in Germany.

Many of Germany’s young World Cup stars graduated into the senior side from the successful German U-21 side that won the 2009 u-21 European championships. What’s so surprising, is that Thomas Mueller, for example, wasn’t even old enough to play for that side, but still made a huge impact in South Africa. Let’s take a look at some of prospects who may make a breakthrough into the national side in the coming years.

1. Felix Kroos – The younger brother of Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Toni Kroos, Felix plays his club football at Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. Kroos, at just 19 years old, will gain valuable first-team football at Werder Bremen, who have recently lost Mesut Ozil to Real Madrid. Kroos’ playmaking skills as well as his ability to get in amongst the goals makes him a great option for Die Mannschaft. While Toni is more of a creative player, who plays more like a trequartista, Felix is almost a second-striker, who will look to drop into space and create havoc amongst the opposition defence.

2. Diego Contento – Contento has come through the ranks at Bayern Munich and is already being used as a first-team player with the Bundesliga champions. At left-back, Germany is a country blessed with ability. But, with Contento’s positional sense and expert tackling ability he may force himself into the senior side before long. At just 20 years old, Contento’s experience is already vast, having  played in a Champions League semi-final as well as many important first-team matches with Bayern Munich. Contento is Italian by birth, so he is also eligible for an Azzurri call-up.

3. Dennis Diekmeier – Diekmeier’s versatility makes him all the more impressive as a defender. While Diekmeier is primarily played at right-back, he can also slot into the center of defense as well as midfield positions. Diekmeier recently signed for Hamburg, and will look to replace German international Jerome Boateng, who completed a move to Manchester City in the summer. Diekmeier is 20 years old, so for him to be so comfortable in a variety of positions is really quite promising.

Germany and the Bundesliga continue to churn out impressive young talent, but it will be interesting to see how many of them actually develop into world-beating players. The odds are good though, considering how many young Germans made Joachim Loew’s World Cup squad despite their lack of experience at the highest level. It’s amazing that Thomas Mueller, a player who was a relative unknown at the beginning of last season, is now one of the hottest young strikers in the world. His example will be the one to follow for many young players who will begin to make a name for themselves this season.

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  1. Eric

    August 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    How bout Dortmund’s Mario Goetze? The writers at are in love with him and from the three BVB games I’ve seen, he looks impressive.

    • Dylan Thomas

      August 25, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      Absolutely, he’s another one. I’ll do another one of these kind of articles with three other upcoming German players. I mean you mentioned Goetze, and there’s Marco Reus, and another one is Patrick Funk, for example. There are tons of them.

  2. Martin Cumbria

    August 24, 2010 at 4:17 am

    I would like to know what you make out of the poor performance of the German U-17/U-19/U-21 side during their EURO qualifying for the UEFA European Football Championships. Any thoughts?

    I would have expected the teams to excel if they are really that good.

    • Dylan Thomas

      August 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      It’s not all of Germany’s young players that will become world beaters. Some of them won’t be. But if two or three do excel and become the next Michael Ballack or the next Rudi Voller or whoever then that’s very impressive. The u-17 team, for example, may have one or two players who are good enough to play at the heighest level, and 9 or 10 other players who will never fulfill that kind of potential.

  3. Will G

    August 23, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Geat article – I love this stuff.

    @TAL – About Conento: the evasive interview I saw (Aktuelle Sport Studio) where he was pushed to say which side he was going to pick, made it sound like he preferred to be called up by Italy!

    Am very curious if Contento can take a performance leap over guys like Jansen at LB this year. And if that would be enough to get him the Loew nod to start for Germany, and thus worth it for Contento to commit. Bayern did let Jansen go afterall…

  4. TangoAlphaLima

    August 23, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Your article isn’t entirely clear on this issue, so I’ll attempt to clarify. Contento was born and raised in Munich, but he is of Italian heritage, as both of his parents are Italian.

    Thus far Contento has been rather coy about the subject of which national team he will play for. However, considering he currently plays with a lot of the projected Euro 2012 German national team at Bayern (Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Mueller, Kroos, Gomez, Badstuber), one would assume that the German national team would be the better decision.

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