My allegiance this morning was clear. Argentina has never been popular outside its own borders. True it has a large Welsh contingent in Patagonia but nowadays they are mainly sheep. Argentina is still reviled all over England for its disgraceful behaviour in the 1966 quarter-final and Madonna’s hand of god in 1986. There is also the small matter of Las Malvinas and despite their claims to this plucky little outpost of the British Empire they have never once to my knowledge picked a Falklander for their starting XI. The nearest they might have got was in the 60s when Marcia, Lady F was on the subs bench.
Germany on the other hand was my home for 5 years and has long been a peace-loving nation. Every family has its black sheep. Germany’s worst trait is that of being a bad loser. They still whinge about Geoff Hurst and maintain that Monty was offside at El Alamein. Luckily for them (and us) they do not lose very often. The commentator on our transmission this morning quipped that soccer is a game played between 2 teams over 90 minutes, at the end of which, Germany wins.
Germany also has a more cultured background, effortlessly combining music and soccer. The Bach family was so enthusiastic that it produced enough offspring for an entire team. Johann Sebastian was an accomplished goalkeeper and his son by Barbara Bach (long before she married Ringo Starr), Carl Philipp Emanuel, was a libero in the Beckenbauer mode. Many of them played for Brandenburg F.C. (Fußball Concerti).
This morning’s game was entertaining and played in good spirit. At half time Germany were up by 2 yellow cards to nil but Argentina made a decent comeback in the second half. There were very few chances in the first 90 minutes, the best being squandered by Gonzo Higuain, a right muppet. Argentina also had the worst fashion statement with a little chap called Agüero wearing odd boots. Either that or he was so nervous in the dressing room that he simply ended up wearing someone else’s boot on one foot.
The goal when it came was a moment of true Zauberei. Schiller crossed and Goethe chested it down before sweeping the ball across Romero into the corner. His account of that moment is rumoured to be in the pipeline under the title Die Leiden des jungen Messi.
That sealed the match for the Germans but in reality the mind games were won in the stands. Super-coach Merkel was there to cheer on her boys but I saw no trace of Frau Kirchner. I suspect the budget wouldn’t stretch. Perhaps a one way ticket, coach class, may have been possible. And if Argentina had won they may well have had to pawn the cup to pay off the vulture funds to which they owe so much. Jules Rimet would not have liked that.
When all is said and done its only a game and as Kant said, you’ve just got to be philosophical. If I had to vote for my Man of the Match it would probably be Bastian Wittgensteinschweiger. You can’t keep a good man down although the Argentinians tried hard enough. Or perhaps that tower of strength, Paul Boateng.
In four years time the finals may be played in Russia. It depends whether Vlad the Impaler behaves himself in the meantime. Otherwise it may be back to Brazil, by which time the stadia may well be finished for real. The balsa wood and bits of string lasted remarkably well all things considered. I watched very carefully when the Germans did the traditional victory bounce. I was fearful that the podium would collapse and and entire world cup winning team would disappear into a black hole. If it were to do so I suspect they would find it full of Brazilians, Fred and Scolari at the bottom of the heap.
I was going to post a HD timelapse yesterday but sadly each time I uploaded the sequence to You Tube it played back at the lowest possible quality. I have no idea why it is doing it and frankly I’m not sure you would be as enthralled with the ‘dancing kayaks’ as I was. For me it is about getting the techy stuff right first and I will worry about the aesthetics later. And on that note, I abandon the soccer commentary for another 4 years and hope young Goethe enjoys his moment in the sun. See you in Siberia.