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Germany is Weltmeister, deservedly
by Mike Woitalla, July 13th, 2014 7:19PM

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TAGS:  germany, world cup 2014

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By Mike Woitalla
(@MikeWoitalla)

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Mario Goetze, who was born nearly two years after Germany last won the World Cup, struck a left-footed volley into the Argentine net to give Germany its fourth world championship.

In overtime, after 113 minutes of scoreless play, Andre Schuerrle swung in a cross that the 22-year-old Goetze tapped down with his chest to set up the shot that returned the trophy to Germany for the first time since 1990.

Here are the reasons why Germany is deserved champion:

Goals! The Argentines finished the tournament after going 322 minutes – more than five hours – without hitting the net. The Germans scored a tournament-leading 18 goals in their seven games, were never shut out, and have now been the World Cup’s highest-scoring team for the third straight tournament.

The Germans reached the final with a 7-1 win over host Brazil, the biggest semifinal win in history. The Argentines arrived thanks to a shootout victory over the Netherlands after the first scoreless semifinal in World Cup history.

Hummels and Co. The Argentines got to the final thanks to unrelenting defense. Until Goetze scored, they had played 486 shutout minutes, not having given up a goal since group play, until Goetze struck. The Argentines did attack the Germans, the final did offer exciting periods of end-to-end action, but the central defense of Matts Hummels and Jerome Boateng ended up being the best pairing at the World Cup.

Both are also solid on the ball, enabling the Germans to keep possession once they gain it. Hummels also scored twice, including the gamewinner in the 1-0 round of 16 victory over France. Outside back and captain Philipp Lahm was a constant attacking threat, enabling the Germans to surge when the midfield got bogged down.

Depth. The Argentines depended on Lionel Messi to bail them out with goals in their three win group games and he helped set up goals in their 1-0 wins over Switzerland and Belgium. When Messi wasn’t effective, neither was his team.

The Germans got goals from eight different players. Both the 24-year-old Schuerrle and Goetze came off the bench in the final. Schuerrle scored against Algeria and Brazil after coming off the bench. Goetze had not started since the round-of-16 game against Algeria.

They complemented a core of veteran attackers from Thomas Mueller -- second leading scorer in the tournament with five goals – to Miroslav Klose, who in his fourth World Cup appearance broke the all-time World Cup record when he upped his total to 16 with two strikes. The Germans could overcome the poor form of playmaker Mesut Ozil because they were able to attack in a variety of ways.

A glorious ending. This World Cup, tied for the highest scoring in 20 years, looked in danger of the most unsatisfactory of finishes -- a penalty-kick shootout. But the Germans came out attacking in overtime and produced a fantastic goal. They deserve a big Danke for that.



19 comments
  1. Terry Ellis
    commented on: July 13, 2014 at 8:19 p.m.
    Indeed thank you Germany for a great match and a fantastic goal to prevent penalty kicks. Those always leave a bad taste in my mouth. Argentina certainly proved their right to be in the finals as well. Well done all around!

  1. Santiago 1314
    commented on: July 13, 2014 at 8:30 p.m.
    Danke indeed...Glorious Goal, And Germany Are Deserved Champs... Messi was a No Show...DiMaria was a Scratch...Argentina play "Mostly" Clean...Still say it was the Weakest World Cup EVER !!!... Germany was unable to Tiki Taka..How many UnForced Errors!?!?!?... But a Wonderful INDIVIDUAL SOLO Run/Cross by Schurlle and a Goal by Goetz, that will go down in History... Like I said... It really only takes TWO players to Pull of the Difference...I was Pulling for Messi-Aguerro...Congrats to Germany

  1. Kent James
    commented on: July 13, 2014 at 9:29 p.m.
    The Germans were deserving winners, and I have to say, it was a very hard-fought (but relatively clean) match. Kudos to the referee crew who (in contrast to many other games) seemed to get the important calls right, and did a nice job not falling for much simulation while seeming to punish real fouls appropriately. Though one thing FIFA needs to improve on is the grabbing on corner kicks; on one German corner an Argentine defender had both his arms wrapped around Hummel (preventing him from jumping), and another defender (Mascherano, I think) had Mueller's shirt preventing him from jumping (and the ball went to Mueller), and Mueller was called for the foul!

  1. John Burns
    commented on: July 13, 2014 at 9:29 p.m.
    I find it difficult to believe that there is a single individual in the soccer world who really likes PKs as the final answer to the conclusion of a match under any circumstances. Fortunately, it did not get to that point today, thanks to Mario Grotze but it was on everyone's mind. Can someone explain the disadvantages of the concept of removing players systematically from each side once the 90th minute has passed? The match continues with 10-man sides for another ten minutes or so. If still tied at that point, you drop another player and go at it for ten more minutes. That continues until one side scores. Clearly, the players would all be exhausted but I would venture to say, each would feel such a solution far superior to PKs, which are not much better than tossing a coin. John Burns

  1. Rick Estupinan
    commented on: July 13, 2014 at 9:33 p.m.
    Yes,I am so glad it ended with Germany been the Champions.This is a great consolation for the poor suffering Brazilians fans.Besides,the Germans were better all trough out the tournament.

  1. David V
    commented on: July 13, 2014 at 9:43 p.m.
    Basically a toss-up game. Could have gone either way. The reason why the Germans deserved it was because the ball went in the net for them.

  1. Allan Lindh
    commented on: July 13, 2014 at 11:16 p.m.
    I don't understand the criticism of Messi. When he touched ball in attacking third had three Germans around him, and when he slipped away from them, another three waiting to pick him up. The problem was that no one else could utilize the space he freed up. I don't understand why deMaria wasn't there. Argentina was exhausted, and there should be a one week gap between the quarters and the semis, and another week before the final. Then we might get a final with some life in it. Playing every 3-4 days, after an exhausting tournament, at the end of a very demanding season, is unfair to the players and the fans.

  1. David V
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 1:06 a.m.
    Good points, messi wasn't bad at all.. surprised he didn't cause or score 3 in the first 30 minutes of the game... Good point about exhaustion... if DiMaria had played (injury) and Argentina had an extra day of rest, Both Argentina and Germany would have had 3 stars over the crest

  1. David V
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 1:12 a.m.
    Ridiculous points Woitila.... if Germany had hunker down, 11 men behind the ball for their last 8 years as Spain have had, they would NOT be leading scorers as you point out... naive statistic... if teams played Spain openly over the past 8 years, that team would have averaged 4 or 5 goals per game... the stat against Brazil is another meaningless stat... Brazil were not some powerhouse, they were hosts with a history, a crummy team... don't make it out like they beat Pele's team of 1970 or Spain of 2006-2012... the reason why Germany deserved to win was that the put the ball in the net first, that's why... as stated above, had DiMaria been healthy, and had they an extra rest like the Germans, you would have been writing an article why Argentina were deserved champions

  1. Vendetta diPirlo
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 5:52 a.m.
    Higuain ate a 1v1 early and the Argies had clearer chances throughout the game - Palacio also should have scored, but Goetz's goal was fantastic once the Germans finally used the wing in an attack. The Germans played according to their national character, other teams did not and should be ashamed of not being themselves. Rizzoli was very poor as ref, Aguero should have been expelled and there were numerous, blatant, dangerous fouls on both sides offering a poor example to the youth of the world - not as bad as Zidane in 2006 or Suarez this cup but still too many tackles from behind, high kicks and cleat-raised tackles. I thought Algeria played extremely well and were the revelation of the cup.

  1. David V
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 9:50 a.m.
    diPirlo - this was a cakewalk compared to 2010, the butchers of Amsterdam were much worse in the 2010 final... Higuain should have dribbled, he is a fantastic player, he choked... it was so bad it reminded me of of US parents telling their kids to shoot early from the 18 when they have a 1v1 with the keeper, but throw away their 1v1

  1. charles davenport
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 10:10 a.m.
    So when is FIFA going to schedule both semi-final matches for the same day?

  1. TK TK
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 10:29 a.m.
    I hope we look at the reason Germany is Champ. The development process of these players. Like the identification of these players at an ealry age. Here is a stat that SA should write on. Of the 23 players from this team 11 players played for the U17 German National team and most of those are the teams best players. All but one of the 23 players played for at least one U21 or younger National team. All but 2 played for the U20 or younger German National Team. All but 4 played for the U19 or younger teams. 15 of them played for the U18 or younger teams. The Spain team that won 2010 had similar stats. How is USA doing in that stat??

  1. F. Kirk Malloy
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 11 a.m.
    Well fought game between two deserving finalists. Best D vs Best O, and the O team finally knocked one in, but only after a brilliant run, pass, control and side-netter from 2 subs. Outstanding. BTW, why the hit-and-run criticism of Ozil? He had an excellent final game, covering the map and constantly making the right decisions after his seemingly casual but brilliant ball control. He always took the best option from what the defense allowed, and connected on nearly 80% of his passes, including a selfless layoff that almost decided the game. I'll bet his teammates appreciate him!

  1. Gus Keri
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 11:22 a.m.
    There is a big difference between the tiki-taka played by Spain and the one played by Germany. Spain was satisfied with passing the ball horizontally all match long as long as they are up 1-0. They play slow build up all the time waiting for opponents to make a mistake. They will start going forward with urgency only if they were 0-0 and in the last few minutes. Germany on the other hand keep attacking all the time, even when they are up. It's a more positive tiki-taka than Spain's. And this is why Germany scored more goals than Spain. it's not because of the hunker down defense. On the referee, I thought he did a good job by not giving red cards to either team which at the end it evened up. If he started giving red cards, we would have ended with 7 vs. 7 match.

  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 12:54 p.m.
    Give the Germans their do, well organized, disciplined, and good decision-making. As a team, they were solid and coach Loew should get credit for his selections and tactics. IMHO, Sabella not including Tevez on the squad was probably the biggest mistake of all the WC coaches. Instead he chose Palacio and Higuain who could not deliver when it counted.

  1. John Richardson
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 3:02 p.m.
    The World Cup championship was won by the most complete team - The Germans. They now play the beautiful game !

  1. Santiago 1314
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 3:04 p.m.
    Germany are not there yet with their Tiki-Taka Game…So many Unforced Errors… Looked like a MLS game… Lot of Hustle/Bustle/ and Commitment from Both Teams, but Poco Futbol…Maybe Germany can continue its Transition to Tiki-Taka, but I agree with DiPirlo Post above, it was Finally the Initiative of ONE Player, Schuerrle, to take on TWO Argies down the Wing and Cross on the Run for Goetz to Go Aerial/Brazilian and Make History…That was Worth Waiting for!!!!…I don’t think Tiki-Taka(ANYWHERE) will ever be as Successful as the Last Generation, NO XAVI to Run it…España…Didn’t have Tiki-Taka until Barca/Cruijff/Guardiaola/Xavi…Amigos, IT AIN’T COMING BACK!!!…Just like no one has been able to Copy Clockwork Orange of Holland/AJAX/Michels/Cruijff……Mexico has Played Tiki-Taka for Ages…No Brain to Run it(maybe Cuellar)…Systems are only as Good as the Brain that Runs it…I don’t think the German Brain likes Tiki-Taka, and It is not in their Culture or Nature to not “GO Panzer”…The Mix this time around was ONLY Successful, BECAUSE THIS WAS THE WEAKEST WORLD CUP FIELD…EVER !!!! Think about it… German Defender HEADS the ball back to His Sweeper Keeper from 40yards !?!?!?!? Really !!!! and WHY ??? Because he was trying to play Tiki-Taka….If Higuain had Finished that “GIMMIE”, we would be talking about how the Germans have been a Failure at Tiki-Taka…Go back and watch the Tape…Look at all the Balls Germany Mis-Trapped or Passed OUT OF BOUNDS…And Argentina Barely High Pressed…This “SUCCESS” may ultimately lead to the Decline of German Fussball… Tiki-Taka Negates… **/Speed/Strength/Size/Power/Stamina/Determination/Strong Defending/Killer Through ball down the 18yd Sideline for the Cross/Finisher(Der Bomber)…Auf Wiedersehen der Mannschaft…We Shall See…!?!?!?!?

  1. Vendetta diPirlo
    commented on: July 14, 2014 at 5:13 p.m.
    David V - I agree that the 2010 final was a horror, how the nation of Cruyff, Neeskens and Jonny Rep could play like Bulgarians was beyond explanation. For some reason fouls that destroy the game (and keep scores low) have been allowed and it goes both ways.. in 82 the Italian Gentile cut down Maradona and then Brazilians cut down Antognoni... too many fouls ruin the game. You are also right about US parents yelling at kids to "kick" and "hustle"


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