14 July 2014 06:03
Germany forward Mario Gotze was lost for words after scoring the match-winning goal in extra time of the FIFA World Cup final on Sunday.
Joachim Low’s Germany were 1-0 winners against Argentina at the iconic Maracana courtesy of substitute Gotze, who proved to be the unlikely hero after coming off the bench to score a stunning goal with seven minutes remaining in the second additional period.
The 22-year-old – an 88th-minute replacement for the World Cup’s all-time leading scorer Miroslav Klose – showed tremendous skill to control Andre Schurrle’s cross before firing the ball past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero from an acute angle in Rio de Janeiro.
Gotze – an unused substitute in Germany’s 7-1 rout of Brazil – struggled to describe his moment of brilliance but did heap praise on his team-mates following the nation’s fourth World Cup triumph.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling, I don’t know how to describe it,” said Gotze in the wake of comments from coach Low, who urged the Bayern Munich man to upstage Lionel Messi.
“I just took the shot and didn’t know what was happening. For us, the dream has become reality.
“I’m very proud of the team and extremely happy about everything that has happened here in Brazil.
“Every player in our team deserves praise and we’re very proud to have won this trophy.”
Schurrle, who was also a substitute after replacing the concussed Christoph Kramer in the 32nd minute, played a key role for the match-winning goal.
The Chelsea player pushed forward down the left wing, taking on two defenders, before picking out Gotze with an inch-perfect cross inside the six-yard box.
And Schurrle admitted he was overcome with emotion after fulfilling his ultimate dream.
“This is the best moment of my life,” he said. “I had to cry because I was so overcome.
“I couldn’t stop it. It was always a dream to become a world champion. We are so looking forward to celebrating with our fans in Berlin.”