Many footballers are seen to have new tattoos after a successful campaign, and they get much more successful than winning the World Cup. But for Germany star Kevin Grosskreutz, he may live to regret having the World Cup tattooed on his back after failing to play a single minute in Brazil.
Germany finally lived up to their reputation to win the World Cup for the first time in 24 years as Mario Götze struck in extra-time to give Joachim Löw’s side their first major tournament success since the manager took the reins of the national team.
But while Götze came off the bench to have a devastating effect, Grosskreutz remained among the substitutes for the final at the Maracana – and indeed for the entire tournament as he did not make a single appearance.
The 26-year-old was part of Löw’s 23-man squad, but sat out all seven of Germany’s matches as they lifted the famous trophy. The Borussia Dortmund star has since revealed a picture on his Instagram account showing the World Cup trophy alongside the 2011/12 Bundesliga trophy and the 2012 DFB-Pokal trophy.
Unlike the World Cup, Grosskreutz was a key figure in Dortmund’s successful campaigns that came before Bayern Munich embarked on their dominance of German football that they are still enjoying today.
The image has been linked with John Terry’s appearance at the 2011/12 Champions League final, when the Chelsea captain lifted the trophy after a tense penalty shootout victory over Bayern despite being suspended for the match at the Allianz Arena.
But at least Terry, the former England captain, had an influential role on the Blues’ run to the final as he started eight of their 13 matches and scored against Napoli in the first knockout round before being sent-off in the 2-2 semi-final draw with Barcelona that saw him suspended for the final.
In pictures: Germany return from World Cup
In pictures: Germany return from World Cup
German fans cheer as the German national team rides in an open-deck bus at Berlin's to landmark Brandenburg Gate to celebrate their FIFA World Cup title
The players of German national soccer team, Philipp Lahm with trophy, Sebastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller and Sami Khedira, from left arrive at Tegel airport in Berlin
German national team players are greeted by fans as they board a bus at Berlin airport Tegel, as they arrive from Brazil after they won the FIFA World Cup 2014
Players of German national soccer squad, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Sebastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira, from left, wave in joy as they arrive at Tegel airport in Berlin
The players of German national soccer team Philipp Lahm, Sebastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Mueller, Sami Khedira and Mats Hummels from left, arrive at Tegel airport in Berlin
The plane with the players of German national soccer team arrives at Tegel airport in Berlin
Fans cheer as the plane carrying the German national soccer team, winners of the 2014 World Cup, flies over the 'fan mile' public viewing zone before landing at Tegel airport in Berlin
Supporters of the German national soccer team celebrate as they gather on the so-called 'Fan Mile' at the landmark Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, to wait for the return of the victorious team
Supporters of the German national soccer team gather on the so-called 'Fan Mile' at the landmark Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
A man holds a scarf reading the name of Germany's midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger as German fans gather in front of a stage installed for a victory parade of Germany's football national team at Berlin's landmark Brandenburg Gate to celebrate their FIFA World Cup title
Grosskruetz has also hit the headlines this season for the wrong reasons, after he was accused of assault following reports that he threw a kebab at a Cologne fan in May on a night out. He was alleged to have thrown “a spicy kebab” at the fan, who claimed it caused his eyes to burn, but the midfielder denies the accusations and said he threw his kebab to the ground while out with Dortmund team-mate Julian Schieber, not at the fan.
“I saw the situation as being offensive and saw my private sphere violated,” Grosskreutz told German newspaper Bild at the time. “Obviously I should have not thrown the kebab like that on the ground in public.”
In the same month, he was also forced to apologise for urinating in a hotel lobby.