After just over a month of football Germany have been crowned the World Champions for the fourth time, making them the second most successful team in World Cup history. They won the crown with a Mario Gotze goal in extra time to take the game 1-0 much to the dismay of the Argentinians.
It wasn’t really a great final; the first have was really good with Germany controlling and Argentina looking deadly on the counter. There were two unbelievable chances for each team with Higuain somehow not scoring what looked like a guarantee and Howedes smacking the post with an open header from about 7 yards out. The second half was a dire affair which saw both teams (the Argentinians in particular) not willing to take a risk in attack and compensated that with a bunch of cheap fouls. As extra time came around it looked very much that the extra day and lack of quality semi-final opponent had finally paid off for Germany as Argentina looked very much the inferior team on the stamina market. However Germany wanted to keep the game level so continued to play very open defensively even letting the man with the silliest haircut at the World Cup Rodrigo Palacio in with only a mad jumping Neuer in his way, but he still managed to miss and blew another excellent chance to take the match. As the second half of extra time came around Argentina forgot that the game was about kicking the ball into the net so instead decided to start kicking Bastian Schweinstieger hoping that it may end up in something (Aguero especially was lucky to not be sent off). In the end though a run down the left by Andre Schurlle with a cross which found a teammate in Mario Gotze (his first good cross of the match), a chest and a sublime finish was it that was needed for Germany to be crowned deserving World Champions and that was the game.
Argentina will be incredibly disappointed that they haven’t given a better showing in the final because Germany were very open defensively at times and let Argentina in twice for one on ones with Neuer only for Argentina to blow those chances. It didn’t help that Messi didn’t show up at all, he was a total non-event (don’t show up for last two rounds, win best player…). This wasn’t the Holland game where the defence and midfield doubled up on him and gave him little space, there was lots of space for him to play into, and he just didn’t show up. This game is what legacies are made of, can you really be considered one of the greatest ever players if you are from a major nation and never win a World Cup, I personally don’t think so and Messi’s running out of time.
Germany will be pleased with the result, partially because they are World Champions but also because there was a lot of adversity in their way. Even before kick-off the Germans lost Khedira, an important cog in their midfield having to replace him with Kramer (not the Seinfeld guy, he wasn’t eligible) who had never started a competitive game. Things got worse when Kramer then suffered a concussion and came off after 30 minutes, again not an ideal scenario. Germany arguably put in one of their worst performances of the competition and weren’t helped by Argentina and their heavy fouling and generally negative tactics. In the end it was a win for football and although it wasn’t their best performance Germany were still the best team in the competition.
Although I don’t think the Germans defended particularly well I do think that their tackling was absolutely sublime. The high defensive line played into Argentina’s hands and often had the German defence running back chasing shadows but they more than often got themselves out of trouble with inch perfect tackling. Boateng, Hummels, Schweinsteiger and Lahm all put in superb performances keeping the Argentinians at bay and although Argentina never got a shot on target (bit embarrassing) Manuel Neuer was once again unbelievable, showing that he truly is the best goalkeeper in the world. For Argentina you have to feel sorry for Mascherano who had an unbelievable tournament and once again was Argentina’s best player, he really didn’t deserve to be on the losing side of the match, I’m sure he wouldn’t have been if his teammates had played to his level and intensity. Beyond a handful of players I don’t think that many of the other players had great games (it wasn’t a great game to be fair) and the best attacking players on the pitch would’ve been Muller who was a pest all night without actually creating anything and Gotze who’s freshness gave Argentina real problems to end the game (oh and that winner).
I think that pretty much everyone would agree in unison that Germany were deserving winners of the World Cup for their play in the tournament and their play in the final. Looking forward for Germany the future looks very bright, with the only player in this 23 man squad who definitely won’t be at the next World Cup being Klose as they incredibly only have two outfield players over 30 (Lahm  and Klose ). It looks even brighter when you consider the players who didn’t make it into the team either through injury or because they just missed out, I wouldn’t be shocked if Germany won the next World Cup at all. Argentina on the other hand will have to go back to the drawing board because their tactic of give the ball to Messi isn’t particularly effective against the big teams. They have two Copa America’s coming before the next World Cup so they will have a great chance to end their international drought (stretching back to 1993) because Messi is running out of opportunities to finally win the biggest prize in football (he’s 27) and will have at very best two more attempts.
The tournament as a whole was pretty damn good. The group stages were outstanding with teams just saying ‘fuck boring football the World Cup only comes round every four years!’ Sadly as we kicked into the knockout stages the quality dropped dramatically as teams shrivelled up and forgot what an opposing final third looked like. All the matches were incredibly enough won by the favourites with the exclusion of Germany thumping Brazil 7-1 which also turned out to be one of the best games as well. Great tournament, great hosts and great winners, all in all pretty damn good.
Something which wasn’t pretty damn good was the handing out of the tournament awards. Neuer for the golden glove, tick. Pogba best young player, tick. Rodriguez golden boot, tick. Messi golden ball, what the fuck! How the fuck does Messi win the golden boot when he didn’t even play that well in the tournament? He only played really well in the Nigeria game which was essentially meaningless. He only had one moment of magic in the Bosnia, Iran, Swiss and Belgium games, granted that moment turned out to be the winning moment of the match but he did almost nothing else in any of these matches. To make it even worse when Argentina really needed him to step up in the semis and the final he was totally anonymous, barely getting a touch of the ball. How all of this led to a best player in the World Cup award is ridiculous. To make matters even worse, Messi wasn’t even the best Argentinian player at this World Cup, Mascherano was. Rodriguez, Robben, Muller, Kroos, Lahm, Schweinstieger, Hummels, Vlaar and Cuadrado all deserved the nod before Messi (although not all were nominated). In fact of the players who were nominated I would say that Messi had a better tournament than only Di Maria (who shouldn’t have been nominated) and Neymar (who only got nominated because he was the Brazilian poster boy). This was the classic case of Messi wins things by default, he has done it many years with the Ballon d’Or and he has managed to do it with his mediocre performance in this World Cup.
Anyway enough of idle chitchat, it was a great World Cup and we got the best winner from it. Gone is the stupid European’s can’t win in South America tag (hooray!) and once again we see that Europe is the superior football race which makes a mockery of Sepp Blatter trying to reduce the UEFA places when he should be increasing them.
Personally I’m ecstatic to see Germany win the World Cup; they are my favourite international team which actually plays in international tournaments (Scotland and Ireland don’t really make it very often). I think this is the closest I will ever get to the feeling of my nation winning the World Cup (not that I am German in anyway whatsoever, I’ve never even been, I just feel a connection, maybe it’s that socialist thriftiness we both share…) because I highly doubt Scotland will ever win anything because we generally suck and can’t even get to the finals (last time was 1998 which was like forever ago).
Well leave a comment on what you thought about the World Cup final, what you thought about Germany winning their fourth crown and what you thought about the tournament as a whole. With every comment you contribute you move a step closer to heaven…if you believe it that sort of stuff…