Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 14th 2014 Contents A76
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, July 14, 2014
RIO DE JANEIRO---Germany won the World
Cup. Host Brazil won a world of new friends.
The now four-time world champions, the
first European team to win it on South Amer-
ican soil, earned the honour of lifting the
most recognised trophy in sports with a tooth-
and-nail 1-0 victory in a final as terrifically
entertaining as the tournament itself.
For a 32-day showcase of football at its
best, the winning goal was beautifully appro-
priate. Mario Goetze controlled the ball with
his chest and then volleyed it into the Argen-
tine goal, making difficult skills look so simple.
Scored in the 113th minute, the mortal blow
left Argentina too little time to recover.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, sat in
the VIP section with other world leaders,
waved a clenched fist as Goetze celebrated.
When referee Nicola Rizzoli blew the final
whistle a few minutes later, Vladimir Putin
reached across and shook Merkel s hand. The
Russian president s country hosts the next
World Cup in 2018.
Sepp Blatter, president of World Cup organ-
iser FIFA, and Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff embraced as Germany s players went
crazy with joy and Argentina s wept.
One of the ironies of this World Cup is
that even though the tournament will be
remembered as a resounding success, it was
a headache for Rousseff and Blatter to the
As they handed over the gold trophy to
Germany captain Philipp Lahm, the Maracana
Stadium echoed with an insulting chant aimed
at the Brazilian president. There were resound-
ing boos, too, when she was shown shaking
the hand of losing coach Alejandro Sabella.
Such protests were also heard at other sta-
diums during the tournament, demonstrating
how the party atmosphere was really only a
thin veneer for grave public misgivings about
$13 billion of spending on cup preparations.
As sunset-pink clouds made way for night,
and the teams treated the watching world to
30 minutes of extra time because they were
still scoreless after 90 minutes, the iconic
Maracana bathed in light looked like a space-
ship landed between the hills, high-rises and
favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
The 74,738 fans had a ball, especially Ger-
mans and Brazilians who didn t want Argenti-
na, their neighbour and fiercest football rival,
to win a third world title. They drowned out
the Argentine fans tireless, jaunty singing
with piercing whistles and shouted "Ole!"
when Germany players had the ball, weaving
their game of intricate passing.
The biggest game in football attracted a
good sprinkling of celebrities. David Beckham
hugged Pele. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen
snuggled with her husband, NFL star Tom
Brady. Rolling Stones front-man Mick Jagger
was there, too.
Even with tired legs as they played into
extra time, the two exquisitely matched teams
gave and sought no quarter. Germany brought
brawn, its intricate passing and movement
and tireless determination to attack and attack
again. Argentina responded with bruising
defense and craftiness and could have won
had its players not wasted chances.
For the highest stakes in football, players
bruised body and soul. German midfielder
Bastian Schweinsteiger was carrying a cut
under his right eye as he walked up with his
teammates to collect the trophy. Midfielder
Christoph Kramer played on for 14 minutes
with a suspected concussion before he was
replaced by Andre Schuerrle. It was Schuerrle
who provided the cross that Goetze controlled
so magically. Kramer s head injury was the
last in a series at this World Cup that will
put pressure on football to better protect
players from concussion.
RIO DE JANEIRO---Mario Goetze lived up to the
billing of being one of Germany s most talented
players by scoring the goal that ensured Germany
became the first European team to win the World
Cup title in South America.
Goetze came off the bench in the 88th minute
and netted the winner in the 113th minute of the
final against Argentina with a perfectly taken vol-
ley.Andre Schuerrle, another substitute, broke away
down the left flank and sent a cross into the penalty
area. Goetze controlled the ball with his chest perfectly
as he ran and from five meters (yards) fired a left-
foot volley from an acute angle inside the far post.
ze began the tournament in Germany s starting
lineup but was relegated to the bench when coach
Joachim Loew decided to use his only true striker
Miroslav Klose. Klose started yesterday before being
replaced by Goetze.
"He comes in and scores, that s what our team is
all about," Germany forward Thomas Mueller said
of his teammate.
Goetze has always had the potential to be one of
Germany s brightest stars.
The 22-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder was
voted the man of the match in this final and also
took the same honor in Germany s 2-2 draw with
Ghana in the group stage when he scored his other
goal of the tournament. He appeared in six of Ger-
many s seven matches in the tournament.
Goetze made his debut for Germany in 2010, when
he was 18, making him the country s youngest inter-
national since Uwe Seeler in 1954. When Goetze
scored against Austria in September 2011, he also
became Germany s youngest ever scorer at the time.
He has 11 goals in 35 appearances for Germany.
He began his career in Borussia Dortmund before
using a clause in his contract to leave for Bayern in
Goetze won the Bundesliga title twice with Dort-
mund and once with Bayern, and netted four goals
in qualifying for the World Cup.
Long-standing issues throughout the
Brazilian game have led to disappointment
in their home World Cup, according to
The 2002 World Cup winner believes the
Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) needs
to work closer with the government, club
sides and ex-professionals to improve foot-
ball at every level in the country.
Having won the right to host the 2014
tournament---despite their bid leading to
mass protests due to the amount of money
required to stage the World Cup---Brazil
could not deliver the trophy and were humil-
iated in the semi-finals as they crashed out
following a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of
Holland then inflicted more pain as they
beat the hosts to win the third-place play-
off 3-0 and Gilberto reckons the problems
are much deeper than the current crop of
internationals simply not measuring up to
"It is hard to say where things went
wrong," he told BBC Radio 5Live s Sports-
"It is not all about the national team---
it is about what is happening in Brazilian
football. They way people administrate foot-
ball and run football in this country, they
must work better on coaching schools and
"There is something also with the coun-
try s problems---at some point that is nothing
to do with football but at times they come
"Everyone expected us to win as a solution
for the problems in our country but I hope
people pay attention and try to work better
to find a solution, that is what I want."
The former Arsenal midfielder revealed
he had teamed up with a number of former
internationals to raise concerns about the
running of the Brazilian game 12 months
ago---but their approach fell on deaf ears.
"There are group of players who have
good sense, I m involved with them and we
are trying for better solutions on the football
side and I hope from now on that people
pay attention to what we are asking for," he
"A group of players, we have good sense,
we asked for months---we spoke to CBF and
the government to speak about the situation
and the football.
"Now people are starting to pay attention
about what we asked, sometimes they don t
pay wages for the players and are not very
good at administration there are a lot of
problems and they cant solve that.
"At some point the crack comes and today
isn t the factor for what has happened now
in the World Cup it has come from the last
"Year by year there is something wrong
and at some point you feel the pain - slowly
and slowly it has come to this point. People
think it is just because we lost but it has
been happening a long time."
Gilberto says Brazilian woes deep-rooted
Entertaining Cup earns
Brazil new friends
German supporters hold up a banner before the World Cup final soccer match between
Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, yesterday. AP PHOTO
talent on show
Germany's Mario Goetze celebrates after scoring the
opening goal during the World Cup final soccer
match between Germany and Argentina at the
Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
yesterday. Germany beat Argentina 1-0 to win the
World Cup. AP PHOTO
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