I wanted Argentina to win, but Germany deserved it. The 2 best teams fought it out, and either one of them could have taken it. Germany are great going forward, and any poorly set-up defences like Portugal or Brazil will get royally served just like they did! The manner of those victories made Germany look way more invincible than they actually are.
They have frailties at the back, particularly vulnerable to simple pace used against them like Ghana showed, and a half-decent attack will worry them; a decent one will give them fits! The Argentina attack was just half-decent yesterday! Could get great chances, but simply blew the f..k out of them! The absence of Di Maria and playing a half-fit Aguero was the difference today IMO, but those are the margins and breaks in every World Cup.
Craziest and most exciting World Cup I can remember, mainly for the upsets and unexpecteds...Costa Rica, U.S.A., Colombia and Chile; the crazy results - Spain, Brazil etc.,
But I don’t think there were any great teams in this tournament, like Brazil ’70, Holland, Germany ’74, Brazil ’82, Argentina ’86, France ’98 or Spain 2010.
I think if Germany get more mobility in their defence, they could become one of the great teams. Muller’s pretty much the complete player and will only get better! Kroos the same - scary to think of him and Modric directing the midfield at RM if he goes there!
Lastly, agree with some posters’ comments about Messi. He looks totally spunked! Definitely not the player of 2-3 years ago! He used to regularly accelerate past defenders like he did first half with Hummels, and he was one of the best at defensively pressing at Barcelona; that energy just hasn’t been there for a while. I can only think that a player that conserves energy like he does now, only does that because he knows he has very, very limited physical resources.
Never has the old adage "take your chances" been proven more true. Argentina had plenty of chances to win it, and bottled them all. Germany on the other hand, while initially seeming to struggle with Argentina's pace on the break, were relentless and mentally strong. So fair dues to that.
Just... fucking Germany... again! There's going to be no living with them now.
The best team won, and that has been a healthy feature of this world cup.
There's been some good football played at this WC and some very decent individual performances, Rodriguez of course showed some real quality as did Robben as ever. Messi had the odd moment. But for me this was the world cup of the team. The best team won, and it was a real collective effort from goalie, to CB's, to full backs, to attackers but at the hub of the team covering every blade of grass, kicking ass but playing a bit too was Schweinsteiger. My MVP.
Messi has played like that for seasons at Barca whenever I have watched them. He will stand around and conserve his energy and only press when really needed to. There have been discussions about it for years, I read once they tolerate it because it allows him to do maximum damage with the ball and meant he could play for 90 mins most games. Personally I think he has always had problems with stamina and endurance, maybe to do with his growth deficiencies as a kid, and now they seem to be affecting him more... For the last year I have thought he has lost some of his explosiveness and some speed endurance. Maybe its an injury, maybe he is burnt out, who knows.
Hopefully he rediscovers top form, he hasn't done badly at all overall but it is a shame that he hasn't fired on all cylinders this tournament.
Started reading "I Am Zlatan" this morning, and in the first chapter alone Ibra has a LOT to say about Messi & the Barca system.... and none of it is positive!
Personal opinion is that Messi hasn't been the best player in the world for the last 18 months to 2 years. He certainly wasn't player of the tournament, but he's an Adidas sponsored player, and Adidas sponsor that award, so go figure.
The Barca set-up under Pep was to ensure he was the man who got the ball when it mattered most. Once Pep left the system changed slightly and I think it will change again with Luis Enrique in charge. As good as it looks on paper, I don't think Messi, Neymar & Suarez will work on the pitch.
I'd say that's where Neymar has also been found out a little. His international goal record is phenominal for someone his age, but the majority of goals were against piss-poor opposition. Scotland, Bolivia, Panama, China, Japan, South Africa, Iraq & Australia account for 17 of those goals.
Kroos would be a very fair shout, was very good overall, had an excellent game against the brazilian clowns and I'm not saying Schweinsteiger was MOTM every game, but from that Ghana game where Germany struggled without him and were losing until he came on, throughout the tournament he was a constant driving force and played crucial roles in their hardest games (France and Argentina). I think Kroos was able to play better when/because Schweinsteiger was playing.
It's really hard to single out a single German player as so many of them were so consistently good without outshining their team mates. Even Boeteng and Howedes had good tournaments (once Boeteng was moved to CB).
There is a fuck of a lot to admire about this german team. I don't think Low was right to play Klose, I would much rather play Muller as the CF and have Gotze, Drexler or Reuse (when fit) in there. But they have a wonderful balance of skills all over the pitch, have a great work ethic, press cohesively off the ball, are very quick in transition at times, and constantly look to be on the front foot. They are like the international Dortmund deluxe.