Last night Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 after extra-time in the World Cup final in Brazil’s iconic Maracana Stadium.
The clash was a relatively even one and could have gone either way, but a fantastic volley from young Germany substitute Mario Gotze was enough to give the Germans the victory.
In the end I would say that the best team at the World Cup lifted the trophy. Every single player gave everything for their team and they were collectively better than Argentina over the course of the tournament.
There were so many outstanding players for Die Mannschaft. Their team is now full of players hitting their peak at just the right time. One of their outstanding stars of the night was winger turned central midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The Bayern midfielder dictated the game from his position in the centre of the park. He is fast becoming the most complete central midfielder in world football. It seems his class was wasted on the wing for all those years.
He is now one of the most consistent players in European and world football. Schweinsteiger protected his defence superbly well last night, while still having a major influence on the game.
Germany captain and full-back Philipp Lahm was his typical marauding self from his right-back position. Centre-backs Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels both enjoyed very good games at the heart of the Germany defence.
Two players who did not enjoy brilliant finals Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller have had a big influence on their team throughout the tournament and can be forgiven for less influential displays in the final.
Then there is sweeper keeper extraordinaire Manuel Neuer. The Bayern Munich keeper was once again commanding, but did get away with a rather reckless challenge on Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain.
Neuer has proved in Brazil that he is the world’s best keeper. Not only is he a superb keeper he can also play with the ball at his feet.
There was a feeling when Germany fielded a relatively young team at the last World Cup in South Africa that they were destined for great things. The team has matured since then and gained more experience and knowhow.
Germany now has a chance to dominate the international game for years to come with a seemingly constant stream of young players coming through at club level. One of those promising young players Mario Gotze was the hero of the final of course scoring the fantastic winner.
The Germany team that played against Argentina had an average age of 26, which means a number of the team will be around for a good while yet. A lot of the current Germany team have played together for a long time and it shows in their understanding.
Germany’s victory was made even more impressive by the fact they started the World Cup without one of their most dangerous attacking players Dortmund’s Marco Reus. It shows the strength of the Germany squad that they could go to lift the trophy without one of their star players.
It also proves that the team spirit within the German squad is also strong. They are a group of very good individuals who make a very good team.
I am a big Lionel Messi fan, but I have to admit I was disappointed with the little man’s display in the final. The game was set-up for Messi to put himself on the same level as compatriot Diego Maradona and Brazilian Pele.
It seems in some people’s eyes all his club achievements will mean nothing if he does not claim lift the World Cup in his career. He will be 31 years old next time the World Cup comes along and maybe his chance to win football’s biggest prize has now gone.
Messi won the Golden Ball award for the tournament. Despite Messi helping guide his country through to the final, I believe there were more deserving players that were overlooked for the award.
It has been a long time since Germany lifted the World Cup, 24 years to be precise. Last night’s performance showed the world that Germany are once again the best international team and it has been along coming.
German football seems to have a bright future and all the hard work that has gone into restructuring the game in the country over the last decade has now paid dividends. They are a good example to other countries of what can be achieved when a plan is followed and execution to near perfection.
Was Germany worthy winners of the World Cup?