Streets that are usually silent were in an all electrified glamour early on Monday.
Evident reason – GERMANY WON THE CUP!
The dramtic win for Germany came post the extra time; a smooth 1- 0 win made Germany sit at the pinnacle of soccer-success. The victory is a symbol, to fans atleast, of the country’s dominance both within Europe as well as globally. From car honking to ‘ vuvuzelas’, fireworks and crackers exploded the streets of Germany.
The gleaming streets of several stores and restaurants on the Kurfuerstendamm, which was once a symbol of West Berlin during the Cold War, were packed up with cars; traffic came to a standstill when jubilant fans draped themselves in the gold, black and red German flag.
“I am the happiest man alive,” said Jacob Vogely, 25, who was just a baby when the Berlin Wall had come down and had sparked off similar festive spirit in Germans – the best that the city has seen since that time.
Sam Schöneberg, also 25, called the World Cup final a “heart attack,” equivalent, given the six or seven minutes Germany held its breath in anticipation of the result: after Mario Götze scored the country’s decisive goal Germans hoped and prayed that the strong opponent should not score against them.
Mario Gotze was not even born the last time Germany had won the World Cup, in the year 1990, beating Argentina that time too – coincidence or fate? That win became the symbol of the unification of Germany and this one shall reinstate Germany’s rising economic prosperity and crown it as the most happening country in Europe.
The “Bundestrainer” - as Germans prefer call the head coach - had taken his talent-laden team to the semi-finals of their last four major international tournaments, but had failed to win a trophy for their team. This was not good news in a country where World Cup has been an integral part of the identity of the country in the post- World War 2 period.
That was just not good enough in a country where the World Cup has been an integral part of post-World War 2 identity, ever since the year of 1954 - “Miracle of Berne”
So, the question remains as to how Germany overcame their team problems and go ahead to beat host team Brazil in the semi-finals to 7-1 and thrashing Argentina to a big lose at a 1-0 in extra time in the final game.
The answer remains: minute attention to detail, letting go of all distractions and of course ‘milk shakes’!
The German coach Loew outlined his thoughts while talking to reporters in Germany’s base at Brazil in Santo Andre, an isolated and quiet town on the Atlantic shore:
“I've been around long enough to realise that some of these same kinds of debates repeat themselves from tournament to tournament,” he said.
“Obviously people are going to have different opinions on the lineup and on the tactics. But I'm going to try to stay away from of all that.”
Each of their matches were taken very seriously by all team members and they sort of warmed up in each of the six matches – they seemed pretty confident that they would reach where they wanted to – the FINALS and of course winning it.
Groups match wins called for celebrations in the form of shakes, thereby keeping all celebrations at a low tone, as much as possible. Loew kept on repeating one single mantra to his team- victor is not of much use if a World Cup win does not materialize.
The team seemed to be united over this mantra and finally achieved THE CUP of dreams!
Loew and his coaches were extremely well-prepared, as much as they could. Two years were spent in just focusing on possible tactics. The German staff made sure that the grass on the training pitch near the German base compound was typically “South American” and exactly similar to the one used in Brazilian pitches. To rule out distractions further, Germany got a deal through with a German developer in Brazil and constructed a new villa which they dubbed as “Campo Bahia”. This was protected by high walls and armed guards!
“We're glad that none of you tried to climb over the walls and sneak into the camp,” team manager Oliver Bierhoff told reporters on the eve of the final. “The conditions for the team to focus and concentrate were ideal"
A team that deserved the victory – what do you think?