Saturday, 27th December, 2014
Manchester United and Netherlands midfielder Daley Blind played an unwitting role in helping inspire Germany's players to win the World Cup in the summer, after featuring on an app that the country's players could use to help them find creative solutions to on the pitch problems.
Busily preparing for the World Cup, the Germany national team's analysts looked for top players who took creative approaches to solving problems on the pitch, playing quick, one, two-touch passing, with a superb positional sense.
They first focused on a number of top teams, but quickly came to the conclusion Germany's players would have seen the majority of the moments and players to be featured.
"Then I thought about the players. I thought, they know this already and it can't teach them any more", Germany team analyst Christofer Clemens told De Correspondent.
As Clemens and his team looked for new material they stumbled across the Netherlands Under-21s playing at the European Championship in 2013 in Israel. Blind instantly caught the eye.
"A very, very good player. The best in Holland", Clemens excitedly remarked, being impressed with Blind's runs, small passes and steps to the right.
Blind was duly added to the app, his moves notably being shown to the Germany side ahead of their World Cup quarter-final against France.
"Did it help? Yes", Clemens said, noting how Sami Khedira was able to shut down France's midfield stars Paul Pogba, Mathieu Valbuena, along with striker Karim Benzema.
Clemens and his team then decided clips of Blind would be central to their preparations for Germany's semi-final with Brazil and eventual final against Argentina.
And so, in a small way, Blind played his part in helping Germany win the World Cup.