Will Germany become the new Spain?

When push comes to shove, Germany was the best team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and proved it by winning the tournament in thrilling fashion.

Even if Sepp Blatter wasn’t booed mercilessly by an entire stadium (and likely hundreds of millions of TV viewers worldwide), I still would have been very happy with Sunday’s World Cup final and how things played out between Germany and Argentina.

Some random thoughts…

• It really was a World Cup featuring possession vs. the counter attack—and that is how the final unfolded, with Argentina happy to secede possession and stand up to Germany.

• Both these teams showed such growth through the tournament. Germany, of course, took its time and gutted out some results when needed, but no one can begrudge them their victory on Sunday.

• Argentina’s defence was questioned before the tournament. By the end it was the team’s greatest strength.

• A very enjoyable final, but it was clear that these were two sets of exhausted players. It is often the reason why finals aren’t always the greatest spectacles. However the emotion was tangible, the quality of play good enough, the chances regular enough, and the drama palpable. Good enough for me.

• Messi wasn’t Messi, obvious to all. However, he was still a joy to watch. I am fascinated in what to expect from him next season, as the last twelve months he has looked as if the previous six years or so finally caught up to him.

• Player of the tournament, though? Utter farce. Thankfully I care little for individual awards. Poor guy looked embarrassed.

• Bastian Schweinsteiger epitomizes all that is German football. He would start in any era, and it was only fitting he literally bled for the cause.

• Looking ahead, is Germany the new Spain? Maybe so, considering the state of some of the European powers:

• Italy – rebuilding (hopefully)
• France – growing
• Spain – retooling
• Netherlands – growing and aging at the same time.
• England – England