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Soccer World Cup

Germany Reminds Argentina That Team Play Trumps Individual Brilliance for 2014 World Cup Title

Julian Finney - Getty Images

Julian Finney – Getty Images

Germany reminded the world that there is no ‘I’ in team. Lionel Messi tried to put an ‘I’ in team, but one man cannot beat a team that is built as well as Germany. While they have 11-men on the field, it looked more like one flowing unit than a collection of individuals.

It wasn’t the 7-1 stomping that they laid on the host Brazil, but their steady dominance was evident — especially in extra time, where they overcame the universal exhaustion like only a true all-around team could. Argentina were limited to counterattacking as the Germans maintained control of the game and overcame an unbelievably-steady Argentinian defense to take home the World Cup title.

With so many world-class players and no glaring weaknesses, there was nowhere on the field where they weren’t dangerous. They found space at will because a lopsided team like Argentina lacks the overall team depth to cover the field from sideline to sideline the way Germany can.

If anyone can be singled out as the catalyst of the German squad, it’s Mesut Ozil. Ozil isn’t flashy, he doesn’t score much and he rarely gets the publicity that he deserves, but he controls the ball unbelievably well and his passes always find their intended destinations. So many of his cleverly orchestrated passes found the foot of his teammates for goal-scoring opportunities, but it’s not his fault if they couldn’t put it away.

In the end, it was their consistent build-up and control that found the super-sub Mario Gotze in the box to beat the Argentine keeper.

The Germans are a true all-around team. They’ve been a consistent force in world soccer for 16 years, and they’ve proven yet again that with box-to-box coverage and control of the game, there isn’t anyone who can beat the Germans.

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