From economy to football: Germany's rise and rise

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The Germans won the world title in football for the fourth time since 1954 when they defeated Argentina 1-0 in the final at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. This victory is particularly special for Germany not only devastated Brazil in the semifinal by registering a 7-1 win but also became the first European country to win the World Cup in the Western Hemisphere in the 84-year-old history of the quadrennial tournament.

[Read: German footballers get grand welcome at home]

The rise of Germany since Reunification

But what this maiden world title after the Reunification also proved is the ultimate emergence of Germany as a 'superpower' which has earned something which none of its other European peers could ever.

Germany's last World Cup title had come in 1990, when it was still not reunited. The two Germanys , divided after the World War II, were reunited in October that year and it was believed that the European nation had begun to regain its lost glory.

In 2002 when Germany lost in final, its economy was stagnant

But it did not happen on the expected lines. The reunification did not lead to prosperity and by the time the 21st century began, Germany's economy had stagnated. The worst growth figures were recorded in 2002 (the year when Germany lost 0-2 to Brazil in the final), 2003 and 2005. Unemployment was high and the ageing population put pressure on the welfare system.

Germany's resolve to come back on track

The government executed tight reforms including the labour market reforms called Hartz I-IV. It was towards the end of the 2000s that Germany began to profit. In 2008, Germany was affected by recession but in 2009, Chancellor Angela Merkel approved a $70 billion stimulus plan to deal with the meltdown and the country came out of the spell, thanks to revival of manufacturing orders and exports and steady demand.

In the second decade of the 2000s, the German economy began to flourish and in 2011, the German economy registered the biggest-ever export in history ($ 1.3 trillion). Its employment figures were also at their all-time best. The employment scenario in Germany was so good that other European countries feared huge brain drain.

Today, Germany is the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth-largest by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and the fifth by GDP.

Grown big in international relations, even US has to tender apology to German Chancellor today

In international relations also, Germany, which had posed a major threat to the world in the late 1930s, has emerged as a strong player. The country is a founding-member of the European Union, G8, G20 and also a member of the Nato. In 2003, Germany had opposed the United States' decision to invade Iraq. Even the only superpower of the world had to tender an apology to the German Chancellor for tapping her mobile phone, reportedly out of a zeal to outsmart Berlin in worldwide competition.

Football also a part of the big mission for national recovery

Football was also a part of Germany's resolve to bring back the old glory. The authorities, just like in the economy, also concentrated to bring up the best football talents after the national team faced losses to teams like Bulgaria and Croatia in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, respectively. The Germans did well thereafter (runners-up in 2002, third-place in 2006 and 2010) but the best was yet to come in 2014.

Football team comprising ethnic diversity

What was special with the successful mission in 2014 is that Germany cared to make the talent-nurturing process a universal one. In 1990, the (West) German team comprised all white players but in 2014, the team featured ethnic players as well. The likes of Jerome Boateng, Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira are some examples.

Victory over Portugal, USA, France, Brazil & Argentina symbolic

The Germans' victories over Portugal, the United States, France, Brazil and Argentina in this World Cup have been symbolic. It eclipsed both old and new European powerhouses, defeated the sole superpower and beat the biggest challengers from Latin America to earn the label of world-beaters. Could a more befitting conclusion have been possible for the German dream?

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