It seems to be the general consensus that yesterday’s match – while enthralling until the end – surprised no one. Though it is often difficult to pinpoint which team “deserves” a World Cup win more than another, there was no doubt across social media from both fans and competitors that the German win was a well-earned one, much more than a stroke of luck.
The entire tournament featured a present, coordinated, and efficient German team which displayed no evidence of backing down – even when well ahead, as their victory against Brazil displayed (although there was some hesitation, it seemed, from Germany to score an eighth goal).
The German domination, from beginning to end, was not a Cinderella story, but a story of hard work and dedication, one that had begun in the early 2000’s, when Germany found itself in one of the largest football slumps it had ever seen. Nevertheless, due to their youth development programme, Germany is now reaping the rewards of a deeper, more systematic team.
And it appears that many World Cup viewers, especially following the 7-1 Brazil defeat, agreed that the Germans should carry the trophy. In the US, Germany was favored by the majority, as shown by the map below:
Though much commentary on the German’s skill was lost in light of the shock and aftermath of Brazil’s complete crumbling, the match was more a result of German domination, depth and cohesiveness than Brazil’s inabilities. Brazil may point to the loss of key players prior to the game, but Germany, too, had seen substitutes come and go. Five different players scored goals against Brazil, a far cry from the teams built around one or two scoring stars.
The Germans answered every yellow card and injury with yet another gifted player, a fact that was highlighted by the goal against Argentina, scored by substitute Mario Götzen, with the assist coming from another substitute, Schürrle.
Götzen, prior to the final, was merely enjoying the scenery, unaware of his future role as Germany’s hero:
— Mario Götze (@MarioGoetze) July 12, 2014
Götze’s goal alone secured over a million tweets in the past day, many of which dubbed him the “Ronaldo” of Germany, the German “Messi” and “Super Mario”:
Nicknamed “German Messi”, Götze wanted to be the Ronaldo of Germany. He’s now won more World Cups than both combined. pic.twitter.com/2Ui1msfUKd
— German Football Team (@germanfootball) July 14, 2014
SuperMario scores. Now, time to save the princess and kill Koopa #WorldCup2014
— Ted Beranek (@TB_157) July 13, 2014
Articles like The Guardian’s, however, quickly reiterated the belief of many soccer fans: that Germany’s team (not any individual player) was best in nearly every aspect. Some even pointed to the German team as a sign that Germany itself is wealthier, happier, and more dynamic than its comparative European “twin,” Britain.
World Cup victory confirms Germany supremacy on almost every measure http://t.co/857ixbiLrh
— The Guardian (@guardian) July 14, 2014
Of course, even celebrities weighed in on the German team’s skill:
You worked hard for this one Germany…unbelievable effort, unmatched skill. Congrats — Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) July 13, 2014
Perhaps Germany ARE just better than the rest of us. Well done
— Russell Brand (@rustyrockets) July 13, 2014
Ich drücke Euch die Daumen pic.twitter.com/NmKDtbe9ab
— Heidi Klum (@heidiklum) July 13, 2014
Germany didn’t have a perfect tournament.
The team tied Ghana in the group stage, and struggled against Algeria. But following those two opening games, the Germans found their footing and became unstoppable. Neuer was an incredible goalkeeper (winning the Golden Glove), Lahm played wherever he was needed, Muller broke out to score goals, and Schweinsteiger dictated the midfield with hardly a misstep.
And at the end of the day, the Germans were also just happy to win:
don’t ever let somebody tell you, you can’t do something. believe in your dreams – here, today and all over the world pic.twitter.com/i8yXV0KAFx
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) July 14, 2014
It’s been argued that this German team might possibly be the best national team to have ever been assembled, and there’s no doubt that the team will gather more major wins down the road (perhaps at the Euro Cup in 2016, which you should be able to watch via BBC, DIRECTV, and ESPN). The team, as of now, possesses the highest Elo rating ever for a World Cup champion, knocking out the 1962 Brazil team. It will be an excellent, and likely legendary, ride watching this team continue to compete internationally.
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