Höwedes, Schürrle, Götze and Co: The sad world champions of 2014

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Schürrle, Götze, Höwedes and Co.
You were world champion in 2014 – then the sporting crash followed

Cheers in the World Cup final after the 1-0 lead: Mario Götze, Benedikt Höwedes and André Schürrle (from right) went downhill afterwards. Thomas Müller (left) also no longer plays a role in the DFB team.

© Pressefoto ULMER / Michael Kienzle / Picture Alliance

Benedikt Höwedes has just announced his retirement at the age of 32, previously André Schürrle. And Mario Götze is also in a deep sporting crisis. Noticeably many of the soccer world champions from 2014 got stuck after their great success.

In the summer of 2014, soccer Germany was in a state of emergency: Germany had won the world championship title for the fourth time. In the final in Rio de Janeiro, the DFB team beat Argentina 1-0 after extra time. Goal scorer at the time: Mario Götze, the decisive goal was prepared by André Schürrle.

Six years later, the world champion euphoria has long since evaporated. Not only at the DFB, which after the title had to cope with various scandals and the first round elimination at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Some of the players who lifted the cup in Brazil also went downhill afterwards. While some of the team’s supporters – such as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Philipp Lahm – ceded at the height of their careers (at the DFB), many of the younger players at the time landed hard on the ground. Götze and Schürrle are just two examples. Benedikt Höwedes has just announced the end of his career. An overview of some of the unpleasant careers of the 2014 world champions.

Scandals, injuries, disappointments – the stories of the sad world champions

Mario Götze, 28 years old: With his gate in Rio, he secured a place in the history books. Apart from this legendary 1-0, he was never able to keep the big promise Götze made for German football. During his years at BVB under Jürgen Klopp, Götze was considered the German player with probably the greatest ambitions, the move to Bayern – actually intended as the next step – became a career break. Even after his return to Dortmund, Götze was no longer on the track, which was also due to persistent injuries and illnesses. After this season his contract with BVB was not renewed, the 2014 World Cup goal scorer is currently unemployed.

André Schürrle, 29: Actually still in the best football age, the former international has ended his career this summer. In a “mirror” farewell interview, he expressed disillusionment and disappointment with the football business, in which “the depths became deeper and the highlights less and less”. After the World Cup title, Schürrle only played a supporting role at Chelsea, and even after his return to the Bundesliga, he did not really take root in Wolfsburg and BVB. Most recently Schürrle had been loaned to Spartak Moscow, his contract with BVB was terminated prematurely.

Benedikt Höwedes, 32: Like Schürrle, Höwedes announced the end of his career this summer, also relatively early. And the Schalke veteran also criticizes the development in football. He had “developed brutally. And always distanced himself from the normal fans. Something is lost.” Höwedes was booted out in 2017 by coach Domenico Tedesco after 16 years with Schalke 04. Most recently, he played at Lokomotive Moscow.

Kevin Großkreutz, 32: Großkreutz was not used at the World Cup in Brazil, which did not prevent him from getting the World Cup trophy tattooed on his shoulder. After that, however, it was only enough for an international match. Großkreutz made a name for himself in the following years mainly due to lack of discipline, at VfB Stuttgart he even flew out after a night out with youth players. Großkreutz is currently playing in the 3rd division at KFC Uerdingen.

Watch the video: World champion and scandal professional: What is Kevin Großkreutz actually doing today? World champion, cup winner and German champion: Kevin Großkreutz’s football career has a lot to offer. But escapades outside the square cast a shadow over his successful career – the original Borussian is disappearing more and more from the scene. What happened to the soccer player? At the beginning of his career, the all-rounder developed into an absolute regular at BVB under Jürgen Klopp and won several titles. In 2014 he only warms the bank during the World Cup – he can still call himself world champion. But afterwards it goes steeply downhill. After injuries and a change of coach, Großkreutz is no longer at BVB and moves to Turkey to Galatasaray Istanbul. But after a few months the experiment is over again – Großkreutz is homesick. This is followed by changes to VFB Stuttgart and SV Darmstadt – but the Dortmund native cannot build on old achievements. Instead, the scandals multiply. Even in Dortmund, Großkreutz made headlines with an alleged doner throw at a Cologne fan. During his time in Stuttgart, Großkreutz went on a trip to the brothel with youth players from the VFB and got into a wild fight. The consequence: contract termination. The all-rounder has been playing for the third division KFC Uerdingen since 2018. Meanwhile, the 31-year-old is also on the siding here. In his home country, Großkreutz trains the district league club Türkspor Dortmund – possibly the beginning of a new successful career.


Erik Durm, 28: Durm was also without a mission in Brazil, and he has not played an international match since November 2014. At the time, the left-back was considered a beacon of hope in a position that was a constant problem area for the national team. He could not meet expectations, injuries hindered the development of the talent. Today he is under contract with Eintracht Frankfurt – in the past season with no prospect of a regular place.

Ron-Robert Zieler, 31: Zieler drove to Brazil as the third goalkeeper. It was very unlikely that he would ever get past Manuel Neuer in the DFB goal. But also in the club difficult times for the keeper dawned. With Hannover 96 and later VfB Stuttgart, Zieler relegated to the 2nd division. There he bobbles today with Hanover in mediocrity and fears for his place as number one in the goal of Lower Saxony.

Jérôme Boateng, 31: In 2014 Boateng was one of the outstanding players at the World Cup. Meanwhile, the central defender no longer plays a role in Jogi Löw, who Boateng sorted out in the wake of the upheaval after the debacle in Russia. In the club, Boateng also had to survive sometimes difficult times – that FC Bayern and he had little desire for each other, could not be overlooked in the meantime. Under Hansi Flick, Boateng has regained its former strength, at least in the Bayern jersey.

Thomas Müller, 30: In principle, the same can be said about Müller as about Boateng. Löw also had no use for him after the 2018 World Cup. That still gnaws at the Bayern player. With FC Bayern, however, Müller proves (again) how valuable he can still be. There he set a new goal assist record last season.

Mats Hummels, 31: When winning the title in 2014, Hummels was under contract with Borussia Dortmund – like now. In between is a three-year, quite successful episode at FC Bayern. But Hummels also fell victim to the new beginning at the DFB in 2018. He has no place in the current plans.

Mesut Özil, 31: Until the affair of his photo with Turkish President Erdogan shortly before the 2018 World Cup, Özil was one of the top performers in the national team. After the Erdogan meeting and poor performance at the tournament in Russia, Özil and the DFB completely overtook each other, the player angrily declared his resignation via social networks and raised serious accusations against the association. Another national team career of a 2014 World Cup hero that came to an inglorious end.


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