Final Whistle

That’s it. Over and done with, time has been called. The control of the TV remote now moves from the males of the house to the women. It will be the brilliant Channel 4 Utopia tonight rather than the World Cup. Already it is generating controversy with the family of the late Airey Neave who alongside Norman Tebbitt are seeking to have the plug pulled. We watched the first series and if the second matches it, then let’s hope the attempts to scuttle are unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, the German national soccer team has attained a Utopia of a different sort and are now world soccer champions. While I favoured Argentina, aided by the mysterious South American soil and its now truly mythical properties, the Germans in their eighth final were worthy winners after a hard fought game. Much better than the last time both sides met in a World Cup final where ennui emerged victorious.

The performances from both teams were workmanlike and Boateng in my view was the man of the match putting together a masterful defensive performance. Mascherano could have taken it but for his overindulgence in some of the tackles. Being on the losing side doesn’t help either. Mario Goetse’s victory clinching goal was worthy of any cup final. Messi must have thought on a better day it was the type of opportunity he would have buried.

The Argentine captain did not fire on all cylinders. Player of the competition, he was not player of the final. Still, his overall tournament contribution scotched the suggestion that he is incapable of upping his game at international level. More plausibly, the deficit in performances between club and national levels is a result of him in a more settled club side knowing instinctively the lay of the land. Habitual team line up allows for the predictability that expands his game. Last night he was part of a forward line that seriously underwhelmed. The easy chances they failed to bag effectively cost them the most coveted trophy in soccer, maybe even in sport. Messi’s ballooned free kick in the dying seconds seemed to sum up the exasperation.

The Germans having destroyed the Brazilians in the semis would have been hard done by to have lost the final. Their memorable victory over Brazil would have been dismissed as a fluke. For the so called Golden Generation of German soccer, it was now or never. They may not have done it with style but they certainly did it with steel.

Brazil, there is probably none who think they are the fourth best team in the world. Holland without the incentive of World Cup glory coasted to an easy victory over the tournament hosts. Coach Scolari has paid the price, being fired today for failing to light a fire beneath his side.

Where now? When Spain were on the up it possible to predict that they would dominate world soccer for quite some years. They managed that for around six. It is not as easy to say the same about this German team. The European championships in two years’ time will provide more substance although the chances of them conquering the world in Russia in 2018 is far from assured. If we are permitted the licence to draw a lesson from history we might conclude that German forays into Russian territory have on occasion proved disastrous. 

None of that will matter tomorrow morning in Berlin where throngs will gather to welcome home the machine that conquered the world and annihilated Brazil along the way.


  1. That final was so boring. To think that if Argentina had gotten to PKs and won those they would've won the World Cup by not scoring a goal for their final 240 minutes of play is astounding. To Ian Darke "if you love the WOrld Cup you will love MLS" we don't love it we dont need it we dont want soccer here in America.

  2. Ryan,
    stick to your guns on them there foreign games.

  3. I thought it was a great game, finely balanced but always open with both teams trying to win. Thought the Argies edged it but wouldn't begrudge the Germans the victory, could have went either way