Ein, Zwei, Drei, Vier! Germany March To Victory

Klose Becomes The Second-Highest World Cup Goalscorer Of All Time.

I don’t think anyone in the world saw Germany thumping Argentina –  who were seen as one of the favourites to win the tournament – by four goals to nil. Without Michael Ballack, Rene Adler, Simon Rolfes, and Christian Traesch, the Germans were overlooked before a ball had been kicked at this summer’s World Cup. Now, surely, Germany have made themselves favourites to win the tournament. Four against Australia, four against England, and now four against Argentina.

Germany played exactly the same way that they played against England, and it almost seemed like Maradona couldn’t deal with the inevitable. Germany are predictable; they’re a counter-attacking side. They did it against England very effectively, and Diego Maradona should have found a reply to that. But he didn’t have one.

When Germany grabbed an early lead, everyone knew that Germany would immediately revert to their counter-attacking play, where they will wait for the opposition to press them, and then quickly win the ball and launch the play down the other end of the pitch. It worked to devastating effect today, and I don’t see how any sides left in the tournament will be able to break it down.

Many thought the speed and creativity of Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Angel Di Maria would be far too much for the German backline to handle. Arne Friedrich was relegated with his club side, Per Mertesacker isn’t great with balls along the ground, Jerome Boateng is only 20 years old, and Philipp Lahm is always on the attack, which leaves space in behind him. Well, how wrong we all were. Friedrich and Mertesacker were imperious at the back today. They marshalled Tevez and blocked out the threat posed by Higuain. Boateng shut Messi out of the match almost entirely. Lahm made critical goal-saving tackles that are almost as exciting to see as a goal.

Where I really think Germany won, is in the midfield with Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Khedira was able to shut out the creative threat of Maxi Rodriguez and Angel Di Maria, and was still able to burst forward and support attacks. Schweinsteiger also did his part defensively, but in attack he was absolutely unglaublich! His runs in behind the Argentinian defense, especially the one that created the third goal, and his passing to play in Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil was sublime. Argentina needed a defensive midfield partner for Mascherano, someone like Cambiasso or Gago or Banega, all players Maradona left out of his 23-man squad. The criticism on him from Argentina will certainly be severe when the squad returns home in the coming days.

Germany never once looked like they would fall apart. They defended as a team, they attacked as a team, and they won as a team. The German national team, despite it’s young average age, has become a unit. A disciplined football machine, going into every match with a determined, winning mindset and all the football skills in the world. Joachim Loew has turned this young side into what looks like a World Cup winning side.

Germany continue to defy the odds and mystify the non-believers. Die Mannschaft march on into the semi-finals with the confidence of knowing that they have already surpassed all expectations anyone had of them. Whatever the result ends up being in the semi-final where they will most likely face Spain, this German side will return to Germany in glory.

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