Green Point Stadium was the scene of a gigantic massacre on Saturday. Maradona and his boys finally hit an immovable wall, and the rampaging Germans delivered them a footballing lesson that they will not forget for a long time. The match ended Germany 4, Argentina 0.
Ghana’s Kevin Prince Boateng may have changed the history of football when he injured German captain Michael Ballack in the FA Cup finals on 17 May. Ballack’s World Cup was over, but with it the new German team was born. Instead of basing their play on the old, ill-tempered and sometimes downright nasty character that Ballack is, the Germans gave their young players a license to play the best football they could. And what football did they play at this World Cup! This reporter was never a fan of German soccer, but he also never saw a team as united and unified around the same goal as the 2010 version of the German national team. If there ever was truth in “All for one, one for all”, German youngsters have made it a reality. These 11 musketeers play in South Africa as though they all belong to a single organism with 11 pairs of legs. The Germans play a fair and honest game, chasing the ball and not trying to injure the other side. Hats off to them.
Their opponents on Saturday were the much fancied Argentines and their lightly-insane coach, Diego Maradona. And what a lesson the German youngsters handed to the Gauchos! From the third minute, when Muller scored the first goal of the game, there was a palpable feeling of Germany conducting an exhibition match in their version of total football, with the Argentines being hapless members of the audience picked up to be humiliated for the entertainment of everyone else. Apart from rare flashes of brilliance, Messi and Tevez were invisible, Argentina’s midfield was outplayed and the defence was completely bewildered.
Photo: Argentina’s coach Diego Maradona hugs Lionel Messi after Germany won their 2010 World Cup quarter-final soccer match at Green Point stadium in Cape Town July 3, 2010. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
The defeat the Germans inflicted on the Argentines on Saturday is as emphatic as possible. The Germans now advance to the semi-finals and will play without their top scorer, Thomas Mueller, who picked up a second yellow card. They will play the winner of the Spain-Paraguay match, and it could be one of those games that will be remembered for a long time. They are that good.
Here are the reporter’s notes:
Argentina: Sergio Romero, Nicolás Ottamendi, Martín Demichelis, Nicolás Burdisso, Gabriel Heinze, Maxi Rodríguez, Javier Mascherano, Lionel Messi , Ángel Di María, Carlos Tévez, Gonzalo Higuaín
Germany: Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker, Arne Friedrich, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Mueller, Sami Khedira, Mesut Oezil, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose
Man of the match
Photo: Germany’s Thomas Mueller (R) heads to score against Argentina during their 2010 World Cup quarter-final soccer match at Green Point stadium in Cape Town July 3, 2010. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Photo: Combination photo shows Germany’s Miroslav Klose celebrating his second goal during the 2010 World Cup quarter-final soccer match against Argentina at Green Point stadium in Cape Town July 3, 2010. REUTERS/Oleg Popov
Strain is now visible on Argentine faces.
Photo: German Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrates Germany’s fourth goal during the 2010 World Cup quarter-final soccer match against Argentina at Green Point stadium in Cape Town July 3, 2010. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
End of the match, and Germany are through to the semi finals.
By Branko Brkic
Photo: Germany’s Mesut Ozil (L) and Lukas Podolski celebrate after the 2010 World Cup quarter-final soccer match between Argentina and Germany at Green Point stadium in Cape Town July 3, 2010. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
Terry Pratchett forged his own sword from iron and meteorites purely for the occasion of the awarding of his knighthood.