RIO DE JANEIRO - Joachim Loew has revealed he told Mario Goetze to "prove he's better than Lionel Messi" before Germany's "miracle boy" hit the extra-time goal to win the World Cup final.
Goetze came off the substitutes bench to score a stunning 113th-minute goal as Germany beat Argentina 1-0 at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium yesterday.
"I told Mario Goetze, 'go out and show the world you are better than Messi'," said Loew.
"Goetze is the miracle boy, he is the wonder who can play in numerous positions, he is the decider who can come on and make a difference and that is what he did today."
The German coach meanwhile basked in his team's historic win, the first by a European team in South America.
It came after four consecutive near-misses in major tournaments stretching back to 2006.
"We have been together for 55 days, we have started this project years ago and this is the culmination of a lot of hard work," Loew said.
"We have been able to improve our performances, we believed in it and worked a lot for it.
"This team really deserves it with the likes of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker.
"We have had disappointment in the past having gone close despite playing good football.