World Cup 2014
So the 2014 World Cup has drawn to a close , with Germany beating Argentina 1-0 at the Maracana. Mario Gotze scored the crucial goal in the 113th minute of extra time. This particular player’s goal will bring special memories for the people associated with Listowel Celtic because back in 2008 , Mario Gotze was part of a German Under 16 team that played against Ireland who had two Kerry men in their ranks , Brian Murphy and David Culhane on that night in Tanavalla. Who could have thought on that night that less than 6 years after that game Germany would go on to claim their 4th World Cup and that the 3,000 brave souls that braved the elements that night can say they saw Mario Gotze first !!
Argentina of course will rue some missed chances throughout the game , in particular a chance in the 21st minute that fell to Napoli Striker Gonzalo Higuain when he beat the German offside trap to go one on one with Manuel Neuer but he scuffed his chance wide of the post. Then in the 46th minute Lional Messi had his shot at immortality but he too pulled his shot just wide of the target.
Did the fact that Argentina had to face two extra time periods in the games leading up to the final come back to haunt them ? Also were they too heavily reliant on Lionel Messi to get them out of trouble. We have seen throughout this World Cup that teams that are too reliant on one player tend to suffer at certain points in major tournaments and maybe that is the case with Argentina. Lionel Messi pulled Argentina out of a few sticky situations at the World Cup.
Back to Germany , they have made great strides forward in the last few years and the work that has been put in at underage level has come to fruition at Brazil 2014. 14 members of this winning squad are under the age of 25 and even the elder statesmen in the squad are aged between 30 and 36. The squads oldest member is Miroslav Klose who has broken the World Cup scoring record held by Ronaldo since 2002.
Can this squad go on and dominate like Spain did between 2008 and 2012. At this World Cup we have also seen England fall flat again at yet another major tournament. What can England do to change their performances at a major tournament. They have invested heavily in St George’s Park as a centre of excellence and new FA chairman Greig Dyke has targeted either Russia 2018 or Qatar 2022 as the World Cup where England can fur fill their promise and win a first major trophy since the World Cup back in 1966.
Cian Mc Gibney