On this day, six years ago Germany won their 4th world cup and became the 2nd most successful country in world cup history along with Italy. World cup 2014 was their first world cup since the demolition of the Berlin wall and the wave of tumultuous joy rained upon the entire nation. Germans are known for their unparalleled tenacity and “never say die” attitude and it was evident from the day they won their very first world cup back in 1954 after beating the golden team of Hungary with Ferenc Puskás himself in it. That match is often described as “Miracle of Bern” and one of the best matches in world cups’ history. However, in World Cup 2014, Germany’s win was no short of another miracle because the tournament commenced on Brazil and in difficult South American condition not many pundits and analysts put their money on any European side to win it over the likes of Lionel Messi’s Argentina and the host Brazil itself.
Football is a simple game, twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.Gary Lineker
Germany’s road to glory
Let’s relish the journey of one of the best sides to have ever won the Golden Trophy.
Round of 16
Germany locked horn with North African side Algeria in the round of 16 of FIFA World Cup 2014. Germany started the match as overwhelming favourites but it was Algeria who bossed the game for the entire regulation time of 90 minutes. Algerians even came closer to open the scoring when German keeper Manuel Neuer vacated his area to clear a ball but the pace of Algerian forward Islam Slimani proved too fast for Neuer and Slimani got onto the ball and attempted to stroke it into the unguarded net, but the sliding Neuer was able to clear it out for a corner and spare himself embarrassment. But in extra time Germans took control of the game and Andre Schürrle and Mesut Ozil stroke the net in 91st and 119th minuted respectively to put Germany in the driving seat. Algeria did half the deficit through Abdelmoumene Djabou in 120th-minute mark but it was too little too late for the spirited North Africans and Germany edged past the first hurdle towards their ultimate goal.
Two European football powerhouses in the name of Germany and France met at the iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. German defender Mats Hummels scored the only goal of the game in 13th minuted after heading in a brilliantly put curling ball into the box from a Toni Kroos free-kick. France did get their chances but between them and the back of the net, there was an impregnable Manuel Neuer who denied the Frenchmen every time from drawing level into the game. France had a great chance to equalize just moments before the final whistle when Karim Benzema played a one-two with Oliver Giroud but Neuer made a superb one-hand block from his fierce, close-range shot. Germany, however, got the chance to put the game to bed on 82 minutes when Ozil found acres of space down the left-wing and intelligently laid the ball back to the onrushing Thomas Muller. The latter sliced his shot but it fell kindly to Schurrle, who had all the time in the world but elected to hit it first time, with his tame effort being repelled by the legs of Lloris.
The hosts were overwhelming favourites to win their Hexa aka sixth world cup and on course to do that they had to meet another giant in the semi-finals of FIFA World cup 2014, Germany in Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte. Brazil, however, was demoralized after the horrible injury of their talismanic forward Neymar Jr during their quarter-final clash with Columbia and in the same game, their captain and the most reliable defender Thiago Silva was shown 2nd yellow card of the tournament after shooting the ball even after referee’s whistle for offside. The country which endured the ultimate pain of ‘Maracanaso’ 64 years ago after losing the world cup final against Uruguay, already sensed another fear of the same after missing two of their most valuable squad members of the tournament. And their fear came true, ‘Mineiroso’ did happen! Brazil infamously collapsed in front of bulldozing German attack and lost the match by SEVEN goals to 1, their biggest defeat since 1920 and arguably most embarrassing one for the most successful country in the tournament’s history. Germany went to the halftime break leading by 5 goals. Muller opened the scoring in 11th minute and from 11th to 29th minute two goals from Toni Kroos and one each for Khedira and Miroslav Klose increased the tally by 5 goals and Brazilians hung their head in shame. And to put salt into the wound, with his goal in 23rd minute Klose overtook Brazilian legend Ronaldo de Lima and became the highest scorer in world cup history by scoring 16 goals in 4 tournaments. There wasn’t anything left to play for in that game in the second half, however, Andre Schürrle put final nail in Brazilian coffin by scoring the sixth and seventh goal for his country. Brazilian attacking midfielder Oscar put one back in 90th minute to reduce the amount of shame but the Germans couldn’t care less and cruised to the FIFA World Cup 2014 final.
The Final Showdown of World Cup 2014
Age-old rivalry resumed when Germany and Argentina locked horns in FIFA World Cup 2014 Final at Maracana, Rio de Janeiro. When two evenly matched opponents meet, the expectations reach sky high but for this particular game, it didn’t match the sky-high expectations and remained goalless for 112 minutes combining regulation time and extra time. German manager Joachim Low substituted Miroslav Klose with a 22-year-old Dortmund boy Mario Gotze who eventually proved to be the scorer of the most important goal in “United” Germany’s history.
It was Argentina who thought to take the lead in the first half when striker Gonzalo Higuain put past Manuel Neuer and started celebrating but the goal was choked off because he was in an offside position. Germany had to regroup after losing key midfielder Sami Khedira to injury in the warm-up – and his replacement Christoph Kramer to a blow to the head before half-time – but they shrugged off these setbacks to write another triumphant chapter in their sporting history. Messi was a constant threat and he almost put Argentina ahead seconds after the break, only to pull a below-par finish across goal with his normally lethal left foot.
As the final of world cup 2014 entered the closing 10 minutes, Toni Kroos had Germany’s clearest of openings for some time but he sent a sidefoot finish off target after Ozil had laid the ball invitingly into his path. So it was extra time, and while Argentina’s Rodrigo Palacio was off target when he lofted a finish over Neuer. However, Mario Gotze showed class and composure when he got the ball from another substitute Andre Schürrle on the right of Argentine keeper Romero and made a sublime placement into the left post to decide an increasingly attritional game with the final flourish of quality this Fifa World Cup 2014 in Brazil fully deserved as its conclusion and Germany won their first world cup after 24 years beating the same opponents.
German striker Thomas Muller clinched on both silver ball and silver boot for his 5 goals and 3 assists, keeper Manuel Neuer bagged Golden Gloves award of FIFA World Cup 2014and established his name as arguably the greatest in the position of his generation.
Do you like our article on Germany’s journey to win World Cup 2014? Let us know in the comment section below.