Philipp Lahm hailed the resilience of Germany as they upstaged Argentina 1-0 after extra time to claim their fourth FIFA World Cup crown.
With the match seemingly set to be decided in a penalty shootout, substitute Mario Gotze produced a moment of magic in the 113th minute to secure victory for Germany at the iconic Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
Gotze – a second-half replacement for the tournament’s all-time leading goalscorer Miroslav Klose – controlled Andre Schurrle’s cross with his chest before firing the ball past Sergio Romero from six yards out deep into the second additional period.
The triumph ended Germany’s 24-year wait for ultimate glory, having lost the 2002 final to Brazil, and captain Lahm could not contain his delight post-game.
“What we have done and how we have toiled, that’s incredible,” Lahm told reporters.
“This distinguishes this team. This is an incredible feeling.”
The World Cup trophy was not the only piece of silverware Joachim Low’s men collected after the match, with Manuel Neuer receiving the Golden Glove given to the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
Neuer lauded his team-mates and the entire staff following their memorable achievement in Brazil.
“It’s incredible! The team has made it great, not only the players but also the team behind the team,” the 28-year-old said.
“Eventually we will stop to celebrate, but we will always stand up again with a grin.”