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Germany takes The World Cup 2014: Visit the home towns of the winners

Last Sunday, the World Cup 2014 finals took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where the German national team defeated the Argentan national team in what seemed to be like a very tough match. Two very strong teams showed great perseverance and determination, making it to the extra time, during which the new kind on the block - Mario Götze, the Midfielder, scored the goal. It was a beautiful goal, indeed, which even the Argentan fans admitted. The 1-0 victory over Argentina marked the first time a reunified Germany has been a world champion, with West Germany having won the trophy in 1954, 1974 and 1990.

Old Town Bad Hersfeld, Germany, where Shkodran Mustafi of the German National Team was born
Old Town Bad Hersfeld, Germany, where Shkodran Mustafi of the German National Team was bornhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Hersfeld
Thomas Muller, a forward of the German National Team
Thomas Muller, a forward of the German National TeamIllustration by Alisa Krutovsky

The place, where I watched the finals (and semi-finals), went absolutely silent and numb. I could hear a fly go by, while it was full of noise, cheers, and singing before. The Argentans of New York just stood there, grasping for air, shocked, some of them were holding on to their mouths as they’ve just seen a ghost. Yes, it was a very tragic moment for the Argentan fans around the world, who hoped that their team would lead them to the victory. But the luck was on the side of the Germans, and more than just luck. However, to the defense of the Argentan team they put up a very good fight, not to mention the fact that this match was one of the most brutal and traumatic in the whole world cup 2014, resulting in many injuries on both sides.

In the finals a new star was born – Mario Götze, the new favorite of the Germans around the world. Wait till you see the many red and/or white shirts with the No. “19” on it in the next world cup.

Even though my heart was with the Argentinians, I knew that the German team would be a very tough team to play again and that it’s one of the best teams in the world. Taken that my parents live in Germany and having gotten to know Germany and German culture very well over the last 20 years, I respect the German soccer players a great deal.

Germany is, no doubt, one of the most successful national teams in the international competitions, having won a total of four World Cups (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014) and three European Championships (1972, 1980, 1996). Germany is the only nation to have won both the men's and women's World Cups. Germany is also the only European nation that has qualified for every FIFA World Cup they have been permitted to enter, having been banned from the1950 tournament due to World War II. Brazil is the only other side in the world with this distinction.

The Germany national football team was founded in 1908 and has been representing Germany in international competition since then. It is governed by the German Football Association, founded in 1900. Currently their leading men are Thomas Muller (midfielder, No. 13), Miroslav Klose (forward, No. 11), and now - Mario Götze as well.

About a million eager Germans welcomed their triumphant national soccer team home to Berlin last Tuesday, many waving flags and banners saying "We are all World Champions!" as they scored in the nation's fourth World Cup victory. The party was all around. Hundreds of thousands of fans packed Berlin's "fan mile," an approximate one-mile stretch of road running from the west of the capital up to the Brandenburg Gate, for a huge party. Many more lined the streets in the city center along the team's route.,But Germans were not the only ones who were excited about this game and the World Cup in general. The social media when ballistic during the event.

According to Google, the World Cup has generated over 2.1 billion searches, and has continued to break records on both Twitter and Facebook. Germany’s World Cup final victory over Argentina broke records on both Facebook and Twitter, making it the biggest sporting event in Facebook’s history. According to Twitter, Germany’s 1-0 victory generated 618,725 tweets a minute, breaking the previous groundbreaking record of 580,166 set during the unbelievable 7-1 win against Brazil. According to Facebook, 88 million global users made a record 280 million interactions during the World Cup final, which easily broke the previous record held of 245 million interactions set by the Super Bowl in 2013. Source: click here.

A brief timeline of facts:

• Germany won its fourth World Cup, and first in 24 years, tying Italy for second most in history
• Germany is the first European team to win a World Cup in North or South America
• A side from UEFA has won the last three World Cups, a record (Germany, Spain, Italy)
• With 171 goals, the 2014 tournament tied the record for most goals at a World Cup, with France 1998
• Argentina became the first nation to be eliminated by the same opponent in three straight World Cups
• Argentina conceded its first-ever goal in extra time at a World Cup
• Eight matches went into extra time at the 2014 World Cup, tying a record set in 1990

Usually, such big events and the winning teams’s location draw a lot of attention not only to the players, but also to their countries. I can say for sure that in the next few years the number of the tourists visiting Germany would increase by a lot. I think I can even assume that some of the biggest fans of the German team would even want to visit the hometowns of the players. In this case, here’s the breakdown of where you should go and what to see per player’s place of residence.

Thomas Muller

Muller was born in Weilheim, Upper Bavaria, and grew up in the nearby village of Pähl, which became the center of media attention during his World Cup exploits.

I can tell you one thing – Bavaria is a beer heaven for those who appreciate a good German beer. Bavaria is also one of the most beautiful places in Germany and has lots of history. Bavaria is also a place where the Germans have a very thick accent, just as the Americans do in the south. This village, where Muller grew up, Pähl, is located on the lake of Ammersee to the southwest of Munich. Even though the Wikipedia won’t give you much information about this village of just a mere 2,100 people, a few things you can see here.

Here’s a thing about the small towns of Germany – no matter how small they are, there are many things to see in the town and outside of it. Some of the most beaugiful sights are, actually, in the small towns. Click here to read my review of the small towns in the western part of Germany. And in pretty much any city and/or around it, you’d find a schloss (a castle).

And if you visit Muller’s birth place – Weilheim, there are more than 100 climbing routes and boulder area for climbing professionals, beginners and children. Here’s more on Weilheim.

Mario Götze

Götze grew up in Memmingen, Bavaria, a city of about 41,000 people in the German federal state of Bavaria. The numerous courtyards, patricians' houses and fortification in its old town are well worth seeing. Due to its proximity to the Allgäu region it is also a popular base for tourists who are planning to visit the Bavarian Alpsor Lake Constance. There’s quite a few things to see:

Miroslav Klose

According to the Wikipedia, there are quite a few things to see in Kusel.

Mesut Özil

Özil is a third-generation Turkish-German. He was born in Gelsenkirchen, in the heart of the Ruhr region in Germany. Gelsenkirchen is located near major cities such as Dusseldorf and Cologne. Gelsenkirchen attractions are a varied and impressive bunch. Whether you are marveling at an old castle, drinking liters of the local brew or cheering the local soccer club, this city is sure to please:

  • The City’s Chief Landmark Schloss Berge (Berge Castle)
  • Getting A Taste For The International With Gelsenkirchen’s Restaurant Scene
  • There is a wide variety of international foods that you will find here. With Germany’s large Turkish population, you can also bet on getting some of the world’s best kebabs during your stay in Gelsenkirchen.
  • Celebrating At The Schlossparkfest (Castle Berge Summer Festival): Every July, the Castle Park Fest is a popular Gelsenkirchen attraction. The fifty-year tradition brings throngs of guests to this always-popular spot and culminates in a huge fireworks display.
  • The Gelsenkirchen City Museum
  • Shopping On The Hochstraße
  • The Local Brew At Brauhaus Hibernia: The Brauhaus Hibernia serves up the best in local beers, most notably the Grubergold brew. Grubergold is like a cross between a lager and a weiss, both cloudy and light and quite different from other local brews.
  • Cheering On The Fan Favorites FC Schalke 04: Gelsenkirchen’s premier soccer club is FC Schalke 04, one of Germany’s most popular teams.
  • The Old And New At Nordsternpark
  • Haus Lüttinghoff (Lüttinghoff House)
  • The New Westphalian Philharmonic

I’ll also strongly suggest visiting Dusseldorf, if you are going to visit Gelsenkirchen

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Schweinsteiger was born in Kolbermoor, Germany. It’s also the city, where another football players was born - Paul Breitner. Called by his coach, Jupp Heynkes, "The best defensive midfielder in the world," Schweinsteiger is a key player for Bayern Munich and the German national team.

While Kolbermoor is small by itself, it’s located near Rosenheim, which has a few things to see:

  • The Culture and Congress Centre Rosenheim (KU'KO)
  • the Municipal Museum
  • The Inn Museum
  • The Wood technology Museum
  • The Municipal Gallery
  • The Lokschuppen
  • The Klepper museum
  • The town's landmark is the gothic spire of the parish church St. Nikolaus with its baroque onion dome
  • The Riedergarten

Manuel Peter Neuer

Neuer was born in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia. He got his first football when he was two. He had his first game on 3 March 1991, 24 days before his fifth birthday.

Gelsenkirchen a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the Ruhr area. Gelsenkirchen was first documented in 1150, but it remained a tiny village until the 19th century, when the Industrial Revolution led to the growth of the entire area, thanks for the mining industry. In the early 20th century Gelsenkirchen was the most important coal mining town in Europe. It was called the "city of a thousand fires", for the flames of mine gasses flaring at night. Today Germany's largest solar power plant is located in the city. Gelsenkirchen is home of the famous football club Schalke 04 – and you wonder, where Neuer got his aspiration to become a football player!

Lukas Podolski

He is a left-footed attacker known for his strong shot, technique and probing attacks from the left side. Podolski was born to Waldemar Podolski and Krystyna Podolska, a former member of the Poland national handball team in the Silesian industrial town of Gliwice (near Katowice), Poland. In 1987, when Podolski was two years old, his family emigrated from Poland to West Germany and were given Aussiedler status as a result of his paternal grandparents having German citizenship prior to World War II.

Podolski grew up in Bergheim, North Rhine-Westphalia, and later in Pulheim, both near Cologne. Only 13 miles away from the large city of Cologne, you can take advantage of visiting that part of the country and actually visit Cologne after a brief stop in Bergheim, where you can visit the Niederaussem Power Station with the world's tallest cooling tower, the Naturpark Kottenforst-Ville, and/or Schloss Paffendorf.

Philipp Lahm

Lahm is considered to be one of the best full backs of his generation, and was included in the World Cup team of the tournament in 2006, 2010 and 2014, the UEFA Team of the Tournament in 2008 and 2012 and in the UEFA Team of the Year 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2013. Lahm was born in Munich, Bavaria. For Munich one needs a separate article! Here’s just a few things to see in Munich.

Mats Hummels

Hummels was born in Bergisch Gladbach, North Rhine-Westphalia. His father, Hermann Hummels, was a professional footballer and manager.

Bergisch is also very close to Cologne (6 miles). Founded in 1856, the city’s main attractions are:

Both former castles are now among Germany's top luxury hotels.

See where the other team members of the German National football team were born: