When I think of the Germany football team, I instantly picture in my mind some of the old classic German football shirts as worn in previous World Cups. I also think of Germany qualifying from the group stages of the World Cup as they invariably always seem to.
Today, Germany were playing South Korea in their final Group F match and they needed to win to be certain of qualification to the round of 16 at this years World Cup in Russia.
The World Cup Just Got Interesting!
After watching Argentina grab a late winner in last nights live group decider against Nigeria, I couldn’t help but feel slightly let down by this year’s World Cup.
Let me elaborate. The fact is that the teams I fully expect to qualify out of their respective groups are doing just that or at least they had been until today. In many cases, the usual suspects were doing “just enough” to irritatingly qualify for the last 16. The likes of Spain and Argentina are classic recent examples of what I mean.
I was cutting my hedge in the back garden and just couldn’t be bothered to watch the South Korea vs Germany match because I already knew Germany would likely win and by extension qualify like they always do.
Then The Unthinkable Happened…
I switched on BBC1 and fully expect to see a comfortable Germany victory, but I immediately felt the script wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Jermain Jenas were chatting away in the post match discussion, and from the words they were speaking I could tell Germany were out!
I couldn’t believe it… Germany out of a World Cup at the knock out stage?! Obviously as an England fan, I was overjoyed to hear this news. Sorry to any Germany fans reading this, but please understand the hurt our England fans have felt against Germany teams of the past.
For example, losing in the semi-final of Italia 90 on penalties when Stuart Piece saw his penalty saved and Chris Waddle subsequently blasted over the bar. This meant that West Germany as they were known back then would win 4-3 on penalties and sent them into yet another World Cup Final.
That image of perfect West German penalties never gets old, and of course who can forget the classic football shirts they wore back then? In this particular match, it was their away shirt, which was green patterned with white shorts and green socks.
Their home shirt at the time was even more memorable. It simply featured a white shirt with red, gold and black lines adorning the front sleeves. These 3 colourful lines of their national flag crossed the upper part of the shirt around the Adidas logo as well as their national team logo.
But today they went out of the World Cup at the group stages for the first time ever in a World Cup, and it is the first time in 40 years that Germany have not made at least the Quarter Finals.
Why I Think The World Cup Needed This
My apologies if I offend any Germany fans out there as this is not my intention. I simply get a little tired of all the usual suspects always qualifying from the group stages of a World Cup. Come to think of it, this is exactly what normally happens in the European Champions League too, but that’s another topic for another day.
Don’t get me wrong, The World Cup comes alive in the last 16, because it tends to feature most of the big boys playing each other and that makes for intense battles, oftentimes extremely tense too!
But I am romantic at heart, and I love seeing an outsider who we least expect to progress far at the expense of a heavyweight contender. In this case, Germany’s loss is Sweden’s gain and I say good for Sweden. Good for the World Cup 2018 too. And well done South Korea, for making the 2018 World Cup in Russia that little more exciting.
Any Other Upsets on The Cards?
As I have been alluding to in this post, all groups have so far gone as expected with the most likely 2 teams qualifying in all cases. Except for Group F of course, where Germany have unexpectedly been eliminated.
Group H is slightly intriguing as all 4 teams were similarly matched. Poland are already gone unfortunately, which is a little surprising,
but both Japan and Senegal are in the hot seat to qualify at the moment, but that of course can change in the final match where Columbia need to beat Senegal to have any chance.
This is the only group I found challenging to predict, although I was confident that Senegal could qualify. Assuming Senegal do win their final group H match vs Columbia, then they will go through to the round of 16 along with Japan.
That said, you can never assume anything in life, let alone football as I did earlier today assuming that Germany would win because that’s what they always do when they have to. I could not of been more wrong.