World Cup 2014 Final: Ranking Top Heroes of Germany's Win vs. Argentina

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World Cup 2014 Final: Ranking Top Heroes of Germany's Win vs. Argentina
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

It took seven tough games but Germany were finally crowned World Champions in the Maracana on Sunday evening.

The Germans beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time after a goal from substitute Mario Gotze settled the tie.

It was the first time that a non-South American team won the competition on their continental soil, but Germany were undoubtedly the best team over the four weeks of matches. 

There were heroes throughout Joachim Low's squad as many contributed significant individual cameos to the team's triumph. 

Here we take a look at a few of those players:

1. Thomas Mueller

Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Before the tournament started, few were talking about Thomas Mueller and the impact he might have on the destination of the famous gold trophy.

But just weeks on, Mueller has led a brilliant German team from the front and won the most famous trophy in world football.

Mueller ended his personal campaign at the World Cup with five goals and three assists, per WhoScored, in the seven games he featured in.

Still, he somehow lost the Golden Ball to Lionel Messi, though his name was more befitting of the accolade. 

Sports writer Tom Reed also expressed this opinion when he tweeted:

Martin Rose/Getty Images

But Mueller was humble when asked if he should have been named the player of the tournament over the Argentine wizard.

He said, per Messi Stats on Twitter:

Mueller may finally begin getting the recognition he deserves after helping his nation to this World Cup win, and he is surely a contender for the next Ballon d'Or. 

His overall consistency was highlighted by WhoScored, who gave him an average rating of 7.97 across the whole of his country's matches―higher than any other German player.

Mueller is not a specialist up front, but he is adept at all kinds of attacking play. Low did not overload on striking options when he named his squad because he trusted the Bayern Munich man―and Muller did not disappoint. 

Mueller is the figurehead of the German side and he thoroughly deserves to be called a world champion. 

2. Mats Hummels

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Mats Hummels has been highly rated by Champions League aficionados for a years now, but the player has stepped up into the world-class bracket during this year's World Cup.

The centre-back not only provided the Germans with a strong point of defence but also contributed two vital goals to the cause, per WhoScored.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

This has seen the defender's stock rise rapidly with John Richardson of the Express claiming that Manchester United are prepared to pay £25 million for his services.

Throughout the World Cup, Hummels was the calming influence that Germany required, especially against France in the knockout stages, where he was named Man of the Match. 

At 25 years old, Hummels still has room to grow and he could turn into the best centre-back in world football.

His performance against Argentina and Lionel Messi was excellent and the South Americans found it difficult to break Hummels down when they needed to most. 

3. Andre Schurrle

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

It would be easy to highlight the brilliance of Toni Kroos or Philipp Lahm, but one player proved that you do not have to start matches to influence where a trophy is destined to finish.

Chelsea's Andre Schurrle had a spectacular tournament for Germany―and he did not even start a solitary match.

But the 23-year-old attacker did enter from the subs bench on six occasions and scored three times for his country on their way to the ultimate glory, per WhoScored.

It is also worth highlighting that for Gotze's winning goal deep into extra-time, it was Schurrle who carried the ball from deep against two Argentina players on the left wing to put in the perfect cross to find his teammate, for the winner. 

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Schurrle is a player who has a huge future in front of him and Jose Mourinho can further his career this coming season by showing extra belief in him, especially with the exit of Frank Lampard

He is a rare commodity: an attacking midfielder who can finish like a striker. 

Should Thomas Muller have won the Golden Ball?

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In all honesty, Germany had a whole team of heroes on Sunday evening and they are the epitome of what a team should be―together, fighting for one another, with skill and bravery. They were the outstanding team of the competition, and their 7-1 destruction of Brazil will go down as the most shocking result in the modern era of football. 

Low had his side perfectly prepared for the World Cup and much credit must be given to him for his work behind the scenes. Germany have restructured their approach to attain tournament success just as Spain and France before them―and many nations could learn a thing or two about this long-term strategic approach to achieving success. 

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