The tunes of Daft Punk’s hit song Get Lucky blared around a half empty Maracana stadium of fans who had stayed long to pay homage to the new world champions.
The jubilant Germany players, taking turns to hold aloft the World Cup, danced to it with vitality. Admittedly they were dancing to anything such was their joy.
The law of averages suggested that Germany, more than Argentina were due some World Cup luck. This was their eighth final – the most by any team, and they had lifted the title only thrice. After playing in four successive World Cup semi-finals of which they twice aanced to the final Die Mannschaft, the Germany nickname for the natonal team, were due some luck.
They got lucky in the moments Argentina forwards Gonzalo Higuian, Lionel Messi and Rodrigo Palacios failed to test Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer when clean on goal. They were clear-cut chances that would have buried Germany. They weren’t put away and Germany ultimately made them pay the price when substitute Mario Goetze struck a delicious winner in the final half of stoppage time.
But Germany are not four-time world champions via fortune. They are world champions because they have proved over the last month to be head and shoulders above the rest of the world.
Argentina were a frugal opponent. They snuffed out Joachim Low’s side expertly and looked dangerous on the break. It was their strategy. It nearly worked. They leave Brazil content. “We are going back proud of ourselves,” their skipper and talisman Messi said after.
In tournament football, it is often tempting to validate the champions’ might on account of silverware. In Germany’s case, their team’s virtues were evident prior.
Their guile and craft were impeccable. It is almost impossible to find a weakness in their squad.
Neuer has been the best goalkeeper at the tournament, leading with the glove and as sweeper. With enviable presence and game reading, he denied Algeria, France and Brazil in the knockout stages of the tournament.
The defence has been impregnable. Philip Lahm showed why he is rated the best full back in the business with astute ball management and versatility. Play him in midfield and he will look a cross between Xavi and Iniesta he is that good.
The central defence partnership of Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng were awesome. Boateng’s performance in the final must go down as one of the best by a defender in the history of a World Cup final.
For 120 minutes, he timed his challenges immaculately and disposed Messi, Higuain and Sergio Aguero in turns. Match winner Gotze was chosen as the Budweiser Man Of The Match because of his invaluable winner but the game’s outstanding individual was Boateng.
Fullback Benedikt Hoewedes is not been the rampaging type – he is the antithesis of Lahm – but he excelled in his primary responsibility of shutting shop. For 86 minutes in the final, he played on a yellow card and did his job without risking a second booking.
Midfield is Germany’s forte. Germany is the new Spain. No team boasts the riches of the new world champions. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Thomas Muller have perfected their version of tiki-taka, albeit an efficient, ruthless model.
The Germans outpassed all teams at Brazil 2014, proof that Low was intent on monopolizing possession like deposed champions Spain.
In Miroslav Klose, Germany owned the definitive World Cup player. With a record 16 World Cup goals, the only thing missing from a hugely satisfactory international career was a winners’ medal.
Argentina had the world’s best player but even he found the challenge too formidable against the best unit in the game.
The trophy went to the rightful champions.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor