I admit, I'm a Worldcup late bloomer. I'm not going to pretend that I know everything, but I can say I might know well enough to converse with fans and understand the game even if I watch it alone. All thanks to ESPN Soccernet and FIFA sites that I keep in my bookmark tabs, friends like Chiara who's been playing/ watching football for years and to news delivered right to my fone almost everyday. What actually sparked my curiousity towards Worldcup is my brother and numerous tweets about it everyday.
I also admit that when I started watching, I placed my bets on the German National Team because of very shallow reasons: Germany has always been my favourite country and I really wanted to learn how to speak Deutsche. You can see that none of these are football related. Not until I went to ESPN soccernet that I learned that Die Mannschaft (their official name meaning "the team") is one of the world's top 10. In fact they are at the sixth spot and has been worldcup champs four times. They also hosted last season's worldcup (2006) and placed third during that year. What initially was a "shallow" fandom became hardcore support after days of reading the team's profile.
On some nights (or wee hours of the morning) I patiently wait for the their scheduled games. I began to memorise names and numbers of each players. One time after their defeat to Serbia, I was unexpectedly sad, close to tears actually. That is when I realised that this is not just some fangirling, but a true support for a team I only got to know this year.
Despite people "hating" the team (which I assume is still WWII related, I don't really know sorry if I got this wrong don't hate!) I continue to support the team even if I was told that they'll eventually lose. But my team proved them wrong; Their winning streak happened. Ending the finals dream of England and Argentina (two of this season's favourites). This team with players averaging from 20- 25 years old defeated the obviously well experienced teams. I was beaming with happiness when they made it to the final four.
|Germany vs. Argentina|
But sometimes all good things come to an end. The team wasn't able to continue their finals bid as the equally talented, Spain defeated them with nil:1. Waking up to such result was disappointing, but what can we do? Maybe it's not yet their time to win the trophy this year. They ended up with battle for third against Uruguay.
And the boys did not disappoint. After two deadlocks in the 90- minute game, the final goal of Sami Khedira at the 82 minute mark ended the game. Once again, the young team from Germany landed third place for second time in a row even if star players Philip Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski did not play due to flu (Lahm and Podolski) and back injury (Klose). The boy wonder, Thomas Muller who is in the running to become this season's best young player led the victory together with Marcel Jansen's goal. The game ended with 3-2, without additional minutes.
Watching the team get their medals made me really happy. It's as if I'm also from Germany. As a fan, I felt the team really played for us and did their best in the entire tournament. They may not have won the top prize, but for people like us who watched them since the beginning and believed in them, for us we feel like they won the championship. They played as a team. I know, a lot of teams exerted the same effort as Germany, but my heart only beats for them. I have found team to support and I never regret going all the way with them. The team is very young and definitely they will go a long way.