Your cut out and keep guide to the World Cup Final

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.




22 thoughts on “Your cut out and keep guide to the World Cup Final

  1. This is a wonderful recount of the match. Loved reading it even though I’m not especially fond of soccer/football.

    I think you’d easily find your niche as a sports writer. You wrote in a very entertaining manner. I got a kick out of it and this is not meant to be a pun. 🙂

    I’ve never seen a German name as long as what’s his name- I mean, Wittgensteinschweiger. Is that really the man’s name?

    My mother was from Bau, Germany which is a tiny place in northwestern Germany.Their farm was on the Danish border.

    I can only speak and read a tad. My dad did not want my mother to speak German for fear that my sister and I would have an accent. If only he had not been so near sighted. I regret not knowing the language.

    • Yvonne, Wittgensteinschweiger is a compound of two names. The Germans have a great love of compound nouns. If you have ancestors from the Danish border area I guess that would be up in Schleswig Holstein. I used to go to Kiel many moons ago. I enjoyed studying German and even though I have neglected it for 30 years it quickly comes back. I still read in German now and again just for pleasure.

      • I think is it a grand thing to be able to speak a foreign language. You learned quickly. I do envy you.

        My mother often spoke of Germany and that their little hamlet was 100 miles from a “big city” called Hamburg. She also spoke of the area being called Schleswig Holstein. She spoke high German, low German and Danish. She and her sisters always spoke German when they visited with each other. One sister ,married a Dane and they were the last to leave Germany after WW1. My mother’s maiden name was Kuehl but some of the folks spelled it Kuhl but it was always prounced as :keel.”

      • I wrote a long reply to this Yvonne but it disappeared from my phone. Try again. Schleswig Holstein is a German state that borders Denmark and has, I believe, been disputed as to ‘ownership’ in the past. Hamburg is a sort of city state, one of the so called Hanseatic League cities (along with Bremen) and its car plate is HH, Hansestadt Hamburg. I went there often. High German is essentially what we were taught. The purest form is supposedly spoken around Hannover.

        I would have pronounced Kuehl as Kewl as an ‘e’ after a ‘u’ is akin to an umlaut and would change cool into kewl. There is a town called Kiel (pronounced keel) in Schleswig Holstein, just for information (sorry if you know all this). Germany is a beautiful country and I liked the people very much. Maybe I will go back one day.

  2. If, I had met Pete 10 years ago and we had gone down the ‘Ooh, lets have a baby’ route then I’m absolutely certain that Bastian Wittgensteinschweiger would have been one of our top baby names. Bastian Wittgensteinschweiger Nevin – it’s got a nice ring to it don’t you think?

    And this is the new emoticon that Steve Gingold tutored me on yesterday evening via long-distance learning – during half-time of the game.
    :mrgreen: and I mention this only because I have never sat in an empty bar before to watch a World Cup Final. It was a very odd experience.

    • I think the solution, Lottie, is to name a(nother) dog BWN. A playmate for CS gas. So much easier than a baby and somewhat cheaper.

      I am quite envious of the coloured emoticon. I can do them on the iPad but have no idea how to do them on a laptop. I read about the empty bar. Quite bizarre, even half way up a mountain in Andalucia. Are there no Spanish names that rival Bastian Wittgensteinschweiger?

  3. The German team did a great job containing Messi. It was like watching Chelsea – he’s never scored against us either. Actually, it wasn’t like watching Chelsea at all – it was enjoyable … And, have to admit, I was cheering for Bastian and the boys.

  4. Good analysis, Andrew. I say that having not watched a moment of the match so I may be one of the fortunate 2 people on the planet who spent their time more industriously. 🙂 I probably just committed sacrilege. :O

    • No Steve, we only watched 3 games out of the whole tournament. It is hugely over-hyped but it is something of a ritual for us. Probably like Superbowl for the Americans. I’m more of a supper bowl man myself.

  5. How apt, I too had a fleeting thought about the podium… 🙂 They say great minds think alike.

    A wonderful tale, written in true Andrewese.

    Frau Kirchner had a cold. Had I been her, God forbid, I would have stumbled to the game on crutches, apparently hers is out of order.

    A great over-the-morning-coffee read.


  6. Being out of tv range. We don’t do that at the cabin. We listened to the game on the wireless.

    The commentator described the blood remarkably well
    Thanks for your guide to the match a much better colour commentary

    I am just glad the game didn’t go to penalty shots. I’d prefer the idea of a tie over penalty shoot out. Maybe they could ale each team head the ball to one another and the team that lasted longest without the ball hitting the ground would win. At least it would involve the whole team.

    • I agree Rod. I loathe penalty shoot outs. They are a lottery. Just play on until one team scores through exhaustion on the other side. They get paid enough. Keepy-uppy would also be a good way to settle it 🙂

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