Success had been toying with Germany since the 2002 World Cup. Die Mannschaft came close on three previous occasions (2002. 2006, 2010) when they reached semi-finals, but couldn’t lay hands on the golden trophy.
The project, which saw Germany earn their first World Cup trophy as a unified nation, was initiated under Jurgen Klinsmann and was carried forward by his the-then assistant Joachim Low. The 2014 World Cup victory in Brazil wasn’t a cake walk for the European nation. Germany started their campaign from Group G, which featured the likes of USA, Ghana and Portugal.
In their opening group game in Salvador, the four-time world champions cleared their intention of winning the trophy as they defeated Paolo Bento’s Portugal. German defense were on their toes and didn’t allow the reigning World Player of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo, any breakthrough. Next came, Ghana, who matched the performance of Lahm’s side and held them to a 2-2 draw at Fortaleza.
In the third fixture between USA and Germany, Jurgen Klinsmann faced the team he was in-charge, a few years ago. It was a close match in Recife and the only goal, scored by Thomas Muller, was enough to seal the victory for the Germans. They topped the Group G with 7 points (2 wins and a draw)
In the round of 16 of the tournament, Germany locked horns with the 1998 World Cup winners, France. France fell short. They looked entertaining in the group stage but were beaten by a better team, with more experience at this level, who knew how to see out the game. Germany dominated the midfield and dictated the pace of the game, while France were well off their own pace. Hummel’s 12th minute header ensured victory for Low’s side.
Brazil and Germany semi-final in Belo-Horizonte will always be remembered as the most memorable match of the 20th World Cup. Never before, we have witnessed a Brazil team humiliated like this and it is highly unlikely that we will see the five-time world champions go down 1-7 in near future. Many records were broken that day as Germany scored five goals in opening 30 minutes to the horror of host fans.
The final at Maracana in Rio De Janeiro was anticipated as Leo Messi vs Germany. The little genius was expected to tear the German defense apart, but the spot-on tactics by the coach allowed very rare chances to the Barcelona stalwart. A few chances were missed by both the parties and it was anyone’s game until the second half of extra-time. The 88th minute substitute Mario Gotze’s sheer brilliance made history as he scored a beautiful goal from Andre Schurrle’s cross in the 113th minute. Germany ended the 24-year wait and are now again ruling the world of football.
The skipper of the losing side Lionel Messi was awarded the Golden Ball and the winner keeper Manuel Neuer was handed the Golden Gloves. Golden Boot was deservingly awarded to Colombia’s James Rodriguez for his 6 wonderful goals.
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