The World Cup final has been and gone and was it what we had expected from both International teams? The football on show was promising and it was as entertaining a World Cup final as I can remember. The only potential downside was the lack of goals until extra-time (again!) but this in a way provides an element of excitement.
The saving grace of both teams and in particularly Germany, going for the win in extra-time is that we didn’t have to put with the luxury of penalties to settle and end what has been a splendid tournament – full of goals, excitement and controversy. What a proper World Cup should contain.
Of course, we cannot ignore the fact that Germany have become the first European side to win a World Cup in South America, a marvellous achievement considering before the tournament so called experts couldn’t wait to nail their colours to the Argentinian mast simply because of one Lionel Messi.
If the final proved one thing, it is that there can be an absolutely tremendous atmosphere inside the spiritual home of football without the host nation. The Maracana put on one hell of a show for the final as well as other matches that were held there but the final is the showpiece that deserved to be signed off in the most glamorous and famous of football stadia.
The (now) unusual choice of selecting an individual for this award seen as we’ve seen many glorious team performances and another was added to the list last night from the Germans but Schweinsteiger absolutely dominated the midfield last night. His passing, movement and willingness to run himself into the ground as displayed by his match stats: he completed 102 passes more than his central midfield partner Toni Kroos, he intercepted 8 passes, more than any other German player and he ran a total distance of 15339m again more than any other player on the pitch. He epitomised Germany and their extremely efficient way of playing football, the definition of a complete player.
Again this is another award given to an individual. This was supposed to be Messi’s World Cup wasn’t it? South America, the limelight, the chance to shine and of course reaching the World Cup final at the home of your country’s bitterest International rivals, what more could you want?
However, Messi failed to shine and he looked lazy showing all too brief glimpses of what he’s capable of and what we’re used to seeing from him. The odd mazy dribble, taking a couple of Germans out of the game and then a damp squib of a finish to a promising move by picking the wrong pass or shooting wildly off target.
His last ditch attempt at the end of 120 minutes from a free kick summed up his final and perhaps his World Cup – wayward.
Considering there was only one goal, it seems a bit odd to be selecting it even if it was a very good goal from Mario Götze. So we’re going to be selecting something slightly different.
We’re going to be selecting the Goal of the Day that wasn’t given and this award goes to Gonzalo Higuain. It was a perfectly executed side-footed finish from the striker but there was a downside to it – he was offside. He really shouldn’t have been as he was in the perfect position to look right across the German backline but as like his earlier chance when he proceeded to blaze wide when clean through, he fluffed it.
The lack of goals displayed in the match didn’t match the quality of football that was on offer throughout the match. Of course it could have been a true classic had Gonzalo Higuain not decided to let the Germans off from two guilt-edged chances or Rodrigo Palacio had lifted the ball over Manuel Neuer into the net instead of looping wide but it wasn’t to be.
Categories: world cup