Why the World Needs Germany (and Liverpool)

I had thought the Germans would make it through to the finals I really did. Now, after watching the (bloody) Italians nick a win against Australia in the last possible minute through a disputed penalty earlier on in the tournament, I had to sit through a fairly technical, rather even match to see the Italians score two goals in the last few minutes to get to the final. I had said to someone before the match that the Germans' defence would be suspect. It was. But, they held on till the last few minutes of extra time and Lehman was excellent though they never looked like scoring a goal. The German midfield, including Ballack, seemed to have gone on holiday--probably off to Northern Denmark where, as I found out last year, they could hide among hordes of their fellow countrymen.

It was when the German crowd started singing "You'll never walk alone"* to the players, after the match ended, that I thought of the title of this post. I was sitting in the pub, with a group of people who supported Italy and who were jumping about and banging tables with joy as the German supporters (me included), with their flags and face paint wilted, streamed out into the late afternoon thunderstorm. Germany and Liverpool are rather similar in their playing styles and in terms of what happened in the Champions League 2005 and this World Cup--middling teams not playing well before the tournament started, great managers but fairly new to the post, midfield generals (who didn't play too well but marshalled his men about and talked and cajoled them when needed), usually indifferent goalie having the tournament of his life and an attacking style of football. Liverpool went all the way in 2005, the Germans didn't. It would have been fantastic if they had.

But, that's why it's necessary to have teams like Liverpool and Germany about and doing well in major competitions. Unlike Brazil and Chelsea, Germany and Liverpool give hope to the rest of the world that having average players playing the games of their lives (with a little bit of luck added) is good enough to win major championships. Of course, experience counts or else Australia, Ghana, and Trinidad would probably be in the semis too but football matches are not predictable**. And, that's what Germany's run to the semi-finals (and Liverpool's 2005 CL win) reminded us of.

Oh, and Happy Birthday America. I did see some fireworks from the Bookstore's window.

* For those PTSD readers indifferent towards Liverpool, You'll Never Walk Alone is the anthem of the team. Yes, it's cheesy. But it's really difficult to sing an indie song during a footy match.

** Did yous see the stats (Germany only having lost once (I think?) in Dortmund, etc etc) that ESPN kept on bombarding us with? In the end, it was a moment of sublime football from the Italians that got them through.


At 7/05/2006 4:44 AM, Blogger Keropok said...

Wow, another football blog.
It's really fun seeing so many footie blogs pop up during the WC (just like mine). Let's hope the enthusiasm never dies off.

Nice blog. Me like!

At 7/05/2006 10:46 AM, Anonymous serena said...

LOL Ah those germans...I'm still pulling for the ports...though dare i say it, i think the french may pull it off...UGH...there i said it, but I will think on it no more...

PORTUGAL RULES>>>ok...I stop now.

At 7/05/2006 11:43 AM, Blogger Priya said...

Hey, this half of PTSD has always talked of/discussed football, not just during the World Cup.

Hope the French pull it off but doubt they will--in any case, I want either France/Portugal to beat Italy (though that too I doubt)

At 7/05/2006 2:26 PM, Anonymous serena said...

I don't really want the Italians to win either...so I'm with you on that one.

Yeah you have always talked about footy...regardless of cupdom


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