Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Germany Lifts World Cup (For A 4th Time)

On Sunday 13th July, the German national football team defeated Argentina 1-0 in a close, intensely competitive game in order to be crowned the 2014 World Cup winners.


The match was very tightly contested, with Argentina’s defence regularly closing down Germany’s incisive passing game that had worked so well for them over the course of the tournament.


Both teams played so exceptionally well that the winning goal was only scored during the 30 minutes’ of extra time that was added on in order to yield a winner.


Substitute Mario Götze scored the winning goal at the 113th minute. The goal, which took full advantage of a great setup from Andre Schürrle, was an exceptional display of precision, marksmanship and team playing.


Götze is the first substitute in the history of football to score a World Cup winning goal, as well as the youngest player to score in a World Cup Final since fellow German Wolfgang Weber, who scored against England in 1966 (both were 22). 


Argentina’s Gonzalo Higuain had a goal ruled offside (and thus disallowed) in the first half and Argentina created more than a few chances to score in the game. However, German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was exceptionally proactive and was playing incredibly well throughout.


In fact, Neuer was given the 2014 World Cup’s Golden Glove award for being the best keeper of the tournament at the end of the match.


Argentine Captain Lionel Messi looked thoroughly dejected after the final whistle blew and, in this writer’s opinion, failed to set a good example for his exhausted and deflated teammates, who seemed to be in dire need of one. He grudgingly shook hands with officials and appeared to hold his ‘Golden Ball’ trophy with utter disdain. He also visibly removed his Runner Up medal almost immediately after receiving it.


Worst of all, Messi made no attempt to appeal to his countrymen (and women) in the stands, the vast majority of whom were proudly cheering their side in spite of the loss.


In truth, Argentina had nothing at all to be ashamed of. They had played extremely well and they had performed with heart and passion. Messi’s crybaby antics, if understandable to some extent, were an insult to both his team and the valiant effort they had put in on the night.


Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli stamped his authority on the game early on and made it very clear that he was firmly in control. He officiated extremely well throughout, ensuring that a fair game was played out.


This victory marks Germany’s 4th World Cup win overall, making them the second most decorated country in World Cup history, a position that they share with the Italian national team. Brazil has the most wins overall, with 5.


The German victory also marks the first time that a European side has triumphed in South America. As well as the third time that Germany has met Argentina in a World Cup Final, which is a tournament record.


Overall, it was a well-deserved win for Germany, who consistently fielded the best side of the tournament.


However, kudos ought to go to Argentina as well, for many felt that, after Germany hammered Brazil 7-1 in the Quarter Finals, a German victory would be a foregone conclusion. Instead, fans and spectators were treated to a tense game of close calls, heated moments and plenty of near misses.  This made for a very high quality match.


One would imagine that the parties across Germany went on long into the night!