From German clichés to world championsPosted: March 24, 2017
Germany are the champions of the world after defeating Argentina 1-0 thanks to Mario Gotze’s sweet strike in extra time. The game was even throughout with two opposing styles of play clashing for football’s biggest prize making for a fascinating contest.
Argentina came at Germany with a forward line that managers can only dream of; Gonzalo Higuaín, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Leo Messi. They were fast, precise, and finding space. Germany on the other hand were resilient and builded their play in the middle of the park with everyone so comfortable on the ball.
Germany won it with almost every German cliché you can imagine – they were industrious, energetic, efficient, a real team. Anybody could have scored the goal for them; Muller, Klose, Ozil, even any of the defenders. Mario Gotze was the finisher of the only goal of the game so he grabs the headlines and the glory, but in truth it was the entire team that won it for them. Germany were spectacular in every department, setting an example of how all teams should play.
While Argentina weren’t exactly bad – Mascherano capped off an excellent tournament with a decent performance in the middle of the park in the final – they just had too few options for this Germany midfield and back line that were fully capable of limiting the best player in the world to minimal opportunities. Their high defensive line allowed space between the defenders and Neuer in goal for Messi to charge into at times, but they were compact between the middle line and the defence, leaving Argentina with difficulty getting the ball into the positions to create very many dangerous chances.
Even poor Christoph Kramer, whose dream came true being included in the starting XI only minutes before kick off before being taken away from him having to come off injured in the first half, had his important role to play, along with every other German player both on the night and through the tournament. Many of these players came to prominence at a very young age at the 2010 World Cup, and their growth together has been showcased beautifully with this World Cup victory.
To talk about the Germany team of 2014 is to talk about clichés, particularly for the way they ended their tournament (i.e. against Brazil and Argentina.) Industrious and efficient, built around a foundation of a great team balance, and in the end, more deserving winners out of anyone else who went to Brazil.