Schweinsteiger has taste for more glory with Germany

Bastian Schweinsteiger is targeting further glory with Germany after finally winning his first major trophy with the national side.

Ever since he made his international debut in 2004, Schweinsteiger had become used to just coming up short in major tournaments.

Of the five he played in prior to Brazil, Schweinsteiger reached the semi-finals on three occasions and at Euro 2008 he was part of the Germany team that lost to Spain.

All that changed on Sunday night, though, when he and his team-mates beat Argentina 1-0 to win the World Cup in the Maracana.

Schweinsteiger does not want this to be the last time he lifts a trophy, however.

With a young squad in place, he feels there is plenty of potential there for Germany to go on and win many trophies in the near future.

“This will give us hunger now, absolutely,” the midfielder said.

“We want to do it again at the next tournament. The important thing is that the young guys have the experience of this tournament and we will go to France (for Euro 2016) and try and do it again for sure.

“It won’t be easy because we have a young team. But we have some players like Philipp Lahm, Mesut Ozil and Per Mertesacker who have the experience. This mix makes a big difference.”

No European nation had previously lifted the famous trophy on South American soil in four attempts.

So Bayern star Schweinsteiger was understandably proud of his team-mates for writing history in Rio.

“We are the first European team to win the title in South America, the first team from Europe, so it has been special,” the 29-year-old added.

Meanwhile, Fifa president Sepp Blatter has admitted he was surprised to see Lionel Messi awarded the prize for the best player at the World Cup.

Messi picked up the prestigious Golden Ball accolade on Sunday night, shortly after Argentina had lost the World Cup final to Germany.

Messi scored four goals in the group stages, but, other than a strong first-half showing against Belgium, the Barcelona star faded in the knockout phase.

The Argentina captain missed a good chance to win the final in the Maracana in the second half, dragging his shot wide when through on goal. And Fifa president Blatter conceded he was surprised to see Fifa’s technical study group had given the Argentina skipper the prize.

“I was myself a little bit surprised when I saw Messi coming up to collect the best player of competition,” said the head of Fifa, who handed out the awards in the stadium.

Holland’s Arjen Robben, Colombia striker James Rodriguez and now World Cup winner Thomas Muller were among the front-runners for the player award.

Blatter believes it was Messi’s magic early on in the tournament, when he scored crucial goals against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iran and Nigeria, that led the committee to pick Messi as their star man.

“If you compare the beginning of the tournament and why finally the Argentina team got into the final, they were decisive and I think it was a decision (based on that),” Blatter added.

Diego Maradona won the same accolade as Messi in 1986, but, unlike his compatriot, he left the tournament with a winners’ medal.

The outspoken former Argentina skipper feels Messi did not deserve to win the award.

“I’d give heaven and earth to Leo, but when marketing people want him to win something he didn’t (deserve to) win, it is unfair,” Maradona said.

“I could see that he didn’t want to go up and collect it (the award).”

Maradona was right — Messi could not have cared less about winning the Golden Ball — he admitted as much after the match.

“In these moments, the prize doesn’t interest me at all,” Messi said.

“We wanted to take home the trophy and enjoy it with all the people in Argentina. It’s very painful to lose in the manner that we did because we were so close to penalties.”


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