2014 World Cup Final

World Cup Final Recap as Germany Wins Title

It’s all over!  The 2014 World Cup ended after extra time on Sunday as Germany’s Mario Gotze took down a tasty cross and smashed it into the far corner, making the breakthrough, which would prove to hold for the remainder of the mach.  While it was a very even match and could have certainly gone either way given the number of close chances between the sides, it would be the Germans’ day while the nearby country of Argentina and a pained Lionel Messi rued a tough way to lose the tournament. 

But Germany had been the best team at the World Cup by a wide margin.  Their 7-1 demolition of the hosts Brazil proved that, as did other strong performances against teams like Portugal and France.  Top to bottom throughout the squad they were by far the strongest team.  Manuel Neuer was probably the best goalie, although he was rarely called into action.  The defensive line featured German heroes like Mats Hummels and Philipp Lahm while tough midfielders like Bastian Schweinsteiger kept opponents limited in chances.  Up front an array of options ranging from Thomas Muller to the World Cup goals record holder Miroslav Klose, to Mesut Ozil, and to impact-making substitutes like Andre Schurrle and Gotze meant that the Germans would always be keeping their opponents on their back feet.

In essence, the team was perfect.  They just needed to perform up to their level.  Even though they had a few shaky moments in the final against Argentina, and Messi made some strong runs into their penalty area, the damage was greatly limited and the Argentineans were presented just a handful of chances, all of which they failed to take.  Germany dominated this game just like every other one they played in this tournament and fully deserved the win.

What was most impressive to me was how the team dealt with the loss of Sami Khedira, who was lost to injury just prior to the kickoff.  Expected to be a key figure in slowing down Messi, his loss could have been the Achilles Heel for Germany.  But Schweinsteiger took on the defensive midfield role and played it perfectly.  By the end of the match he looked like a warrior coming home from battle!  He had grass marks all over his jersey, he had been the recipient of various harsh challenges by the South Americans, and even had blood streaming down his face after one nasty blow he received.  Watching him continue to fight minute after minute after continued harsh challenges shows the fight and passion that can only come from a game of this magnitude.  It was nice to see the player well rewarded for his efforts, and to me he was the man of the match!

The Germany national team showed us all why they are the master class of the world.  Their squad was far more talented and deep than any other, and it was no surprise that they are now the 2014 World Cup Champions! 

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