Senin, 14 Juli 2014

Joachim Löw: "It makes us all proud"

After their dramatic victory over Argentina brought Germany their fourth World Cup win, Joachim Löw and his national team’s joy knew no bounds. recorded the mood after Die Mannschaft’s triumph in Rio de Janeiro.

Joachim Löw (national coach): We’ve been together for 55 days but we started this whole project ten years ago. Our great strength is that we’ve been able to continually improve over that time. If anyone has earned this victory then it’s this team. Today there was only one deserving winner, and that’s this team. They’ve developed incredible team spirit and unbelievable willpower over the past few weeks. This deep feeling of happiness will remain with us all forever. It makes us all proud.
Oliver Bierhoff (national team manager): It’s incredible. I could feel it from the very first day in South Tyrol: something special is happening here. The best team have become world champions.
Mario Götze: It’s a great feeling. The team really earned this. There were one or two players who said before the game: "You’re going to do this today."
Philipp Lahm: What we’ve achieved again today is unbelievable; we worked extremely hard for 120 minutes. It doesn’t matter whether you have the best individual players – you’ve got to have the best team. We’ve continually improved during this tournament, haven’t allowed ourselves to be distracted in any way and stuck to our plan. And now here we are – world champions. What an unbelievable feeling. The team stayed calm and patient because they knew we had so much quality.
Manuel Neuer: It’s unbelievable. It’s an amazing experience. We’ve all worked incredibly well together since the training camp, when we suffered a couple of setbacks and lost players like the Bender brothers and Marco Reus – but those players are world champions too. The whole of Germany are world champions. I don’t know how long we’ll be celebrating for but we’ll have permanent smiles on our faces from now on.
Miroslav Klose: It’s amazing. This tops everything. We came second once, third another time… it’s just brilliant, and I can’t quite take it in yet. It was always a dream to be up there lifting the trophy once and not to always look up and applaud other teams. The team’s performance was important; we wanted to stay calm because we knew we had more quality. Before Mario replaced me, I said to him: “You’re going to do it for us.” I don’t yet know whether I’ll carry on in the national side; I’ll give it a couple of nights sleep and then make the right decision.
Bastian Schweinsteiger: We’re enjoying this moment, it’s incredible. Thanks to all of Germany for the support. Out here we could feel everyone standing behind us. Today we’re celebrating everything, we’re going for it. It’s an unbelievable achievement, but I’ve never experienced anything like the way the lads on the bench got involved. It gave us such a boost, and it’s only with their help that we have managed to win this trophy.
Lukas Podolski: Out on the pitch I said that it was only ten years ago that we came from the U-21 team to the senior side, and now we’re here with the World Cup trophy in our hands. It’s just fantastic. Thank you to everybody, the fans – we make a super team. Hello to everyone in Cologne – celebrate in style tonight!
André Schürrle: I can’t take it in at all yet. I had no idea what to do when the ref blew the final whistle. Tears just flowed as all the emotions hit me. We’re unbelievably happy. Before the goal I was just trying to cross the ball into the box with whatever energy I had left and Mario made a wonderful move. I don’t yet know what tonight holds, but we won’t be getting any sleep and we’ll make the most of it.
Jérôme Boateng: Everyone pushed themselves to the very limit. We all dug incredibly deep. Argentina defended well but got tired during extra time, and we had more wind left in our sails. I always believed we could win. Now we’ll celebrate until we can’t celebrate any more. Everyone can dance around on my shoulders tonight!
Mats Hummels: I’m still completely on another planet and too physically exhausted to be able to feel completely euphoric about what we’ve done. I’m sure that’ll happen over the next few days though. You can only become world champions if you act like world champions. We wanted to make that clear the whole time, and we managed it even though we had a little luck in the final, as we were already preparing for the penalty shootout in our minds.
Christoph Kramer: I can’t remember very much of it, but that doesn’t matter now. I’ve got to say hello to my grandma – it’s her birthday and I didn’t manage to speak to her today.
Alejandro Sabella (Argentina coach): It was a very finely balanced match. We had some very good chances but we weren’t effective enough. Germany had another day’s rest. I’d like to congratulate my players. They’ve played fantastically at this World Cup, and I’m proud of them. They gave their all in Argentina’s colours. Of course we’re all extremely disappointed, but we can still look at ourselves in the mirror and feel proud. Congratulations to Germany.

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Manuel Neuer has been named best goalkeeper at the World Cup in Brazil. The 28-year-old beat off rivals Sergio Romero of Argentina and Costa Rica number one Keylor Navas for the prestigious individual award.
Germany predecessors Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann had previously hailed Neuer as the best goalkeeper at the global showdown in Brazil, and that opinion was confirmed after Sunday's final in Rio de Janeiro. World football's governing body FIFA awarded the Bayern Munich keeper the adidas Golden Glove, effectively proclaiming him the best goalkeeper in world football.
"Manuel Neuer can become the best German goalkeeper of all time," Lehmann declared in the build-up to the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. The former Arsenal keeper even believes the Bayern man has yet to peak: "That's what's so fantastic about Manuel: his best years are still to come."
Oliver ‘Titan’ Kahn, the last German keeper to appear in a World Cup final, the 2–0 defeat to Brazil in 2002, agreed with his former rival: "Manuel is the best keeper in the world at the moment." Neuer had proved that six times in the matches running up to the final, ZDF co-commentator Kahn emphasised: "Everyone knows he's a wonderfully skilled player who can hold his own outfield. But the decisive factor is that he's there in the critical situations and salvages victory for his team."

Neuer composed despite pop star treatment
It was no surprise that the hype about Neuer snowballed from match to match at the tournament. The 28-year-old achieved superstar status in Brazil thanks to a string of superb blocks and reflex saves, and was hailed in the manner of a pop star, a reception similar to that received by Kahn in Asia 12 years ago.
Ear-splitting shrieks and a dizzying chorus of cheers greeted Neuer whenever he stepped off the team bus. However, the former Schalke youth refused to be thrown by the mass adoration and remained a model of calm composure.
At the end of the day even this cool customer was visibly proud of the worldwide recognition for his footballing excellence. "I'm obviously delighted by the positive response. But the only important thing is our success as a team," he stated.
Unshakeable belief
British national newspaper The Guardian heaped praise on the Germany number one: "Manuel Neuer is huge. He has immense presence – both physical and charismatic – which can be intimidating for any forward. He would be perfect material for a cartoonist creating some kind of footballing comic hero: the Super Sweeper Keeper. Neuer emits the attitude of a man overloaded on confidence. Not over-confidence, mind you, just pure bloody-minded self-belief."
Following the memorable 2–1 extra-time victory over Algeria in the Round of 16, DFB goalkeeping coach Andreas Köpke described Neuer as "the best libero since Franz Beckenbauer," but the Munich man has his feet firmly planted on the ground. “Modesty is a character trait instilled in me by my mother and father," he revealed, "I was never allowed to get big headed."
That aspect of his personality has become a hallmark of the Gelsenkirchen-born star, although his very presence in the box and astonishing reactions have caused a string of opposing forwards to lose their nerve at crucial moments during the tournament in Brazil. Neuer is rightly hailed as a superstar, but he has remained a normal and likeable character and always finds time to stay in touch with his fans.
Previous Golden Glove winners:
1994: Michel Preudhomme (Belgium)
1998: Fabien Barthez (France)
2002: Oliver Kahn (Germany)
2006: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
2010: Iker Casillas (Spain)
2014: Manuel Neuer (Germany)

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Götze strikes as Germany win World Cup

Mario Götze scored a superb extra-time winner as Germany beat Argentina 1-0 to become the first European team to win a World Cup held in South America on Sunday. Bayern Munich star Götze struck in the 113th minute to finally break Argentina's resistance as Lionel Messi's dream of emulating Diego Maradona ended in defeat.
The decisive moment of a World Cup brimming with wonderful goals came with penalties looming in front of 74,738 fans at Rio de Janeiro's famous Maracana Stadium. Andre Schürrle burst clear down the left flank and crossed for Götze.
The 22-year-old took the ball on his chest and then volleyed past Sergio Romero to spark delirium amongst the largely pro-German crowd. Argentina and Messi were left squandering a handful of gilt-edged chances, including one that fell to Messi in the second half.
Messi was largely anonymous for most of the evening and his miserable evening was summed up when a late free-kick to equalise sailed over the bar. An absorbing first half saw Germany forced into a reshuffle moments before kick-off with inexperienced Christoph Kramer replacing Sami Khedira after the Real Madrid star injured a calf in the warm up.
With Bastian Schweinsteiger running midfield the Germans laid siege to Argentinian territory, passing smoothly and denying Messi a route into the game. Yet for all Germany's early dominance they created little in the way of clear chances.

And it was Argentina who were presented with a glorious chance to open the scoring. Toni Kroos misdirected a header back to Manuel Neuer to send Gonzalo Higuain racing through on goal. But with only Neuer to beat the Napoli striker dragged his shot wide to disbelief from fans and team-mates.
Germany continued to probe for openings, and a Philipp Lahm pass almost put Thomas Müller clear. The pace of Argentina on the counter-attack continued to unsettle Germany however.
Schweinsteiger picked up a yellow card for bringing down Ezequiel Lavezzi just after the half hour mark. Moments later, Argentina had the ball in the net only to see the goal disallowed for offside. Messi released Lavezzi down the right who swept in a low cross for Higuain who drilled his finish past Neuer before wheeling away in delight.
Higuain's roar of celebration was cut short however after Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli whistled, correctly, for offside. Germany's personnel problems deepened when Khedira's replacement Kramer himself limped off, prompting the introduction of Andre Schürrle.
The Germans remained unfazed by the setback however, and quickly set about reimposing their control of the game. Schürrle drew a fine near-post save from Romero on 37 minutes with a rasping shot after Müller's cutback.
But the latent threat of Messi meant Germany could never entirely relax. Messi burst away down the right and raced into the box, toe-poked past Neuer only for Jerome Boateng to clear. On the stroke of half-time Benedikt Höwedes came within inches of scoring, crashing a header from a Kroos corner against the post.
The second half followed a similar pattern, Germany controlling possession but Argentina often threatening on the break. Messi squandered another golden Argentinian chance two minutes after the restart, latching onto a pass from Lucas Biglia but scuffing his shot wide of Neuer.
The hard-fought nature of the contest led to a flurry of cards from referee Rizzoli, who cautioned Javier Mascherano and Sergio Aguero in quick succession for fouls on Miroslav Klose and Schweinsteiger. The remainder of the half saw neither stride able to get on top.

Germany controlled possession without really testing Romero, while Argentina were unable to pass a German defence superbly marshalled by Mats Hummels and Boateng. Schürrle came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first period of extra-time, forcing Romero into a desperate block.
Penalties looked to be the likeliest outcome, but Goetze had other ideas.

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Rabu, 09 Juli 2014

Disaster for Brazil as Germany run riot

Brazil's World Cup dream was smashed into oblivion as majestic Germany ran riot to win an extraordinary semi-final 7-1 and send the South American hosts crashing to their worst ever defeat in their 100-year footballing history.
Sixty-four years after Brazil was plunged into national mourning after their loss in the 1950 final, the hosts were torn apart in a defeat likely to be every bit as traumatic as the fabled "Maracanazo."
Germany advanced to Sunday's final in the Maracana after a brilliant first-half blitz which included a burst of four goals in six devastating minutes. Thomas Müller opened the scoring on 11 minutes, punishing poor Brazilian marking at a corner to make it 1-0.
Brazil, badly missing suspended captain Thiago Silva, tried to regroup but there was no respite. Miroslav Klose's cool finish on 23 minutes -- which made him the World Cup's all-time top-scorer with 16 goals -- was the cue for the floodgates to open.

Toni Kroos struck twice in the 24th and 26th minutes to make it 4-0 and then Sami Khedira rounded off another clinical move to make it 5-0 on 29 minutes. Dead and buried inside half an hour, the crowd at the Mineirao Stadium was stunned into silence.
Though Brazil rallied at the start of the second half, the torture continued on 69 minutes when Andre Schürrle swept in Germany's sixth. Schürrle then grabbed his second on 79 minutes to make it 7-0, and confirm the worst defeat in Brazil's history. The previous record loss had been a 6-0 reverse to Uruguay in 1920.
Schürrle's second goal was greeted by a burst of applause as Brazilian fans saluted Germany's wonderful exhibition of attacking football. A late goal from Oscar was barely applauded by the Mineirao Stadium crowd. Brazil had gone into the match riding a fervent wave of national emotion, determined to clinch a place in the final to honour injured striker Neymar.

The crowd roared chants of "Neymar, Neymar" just before kick-off, following a spine-tingling rendition of the national anthem that saw captain David Luiz proudly holding up the injured striker's No.9 shirt. But Müller's early strike punctured the fervent mood, and when the goals started flying in after Klose made it 2-0 there was no way back for Brazil.

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Mats Hummels headed the winner as Germany beat old rivals France 1-0 to advance to the World Cup semi-finals for a record fourth straight time on Friday. Borussia Dortmund defender Hummels rose to head home Toni Kroos's free-kick on 13 minutes to settle a cagey encounter at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium.

Joachim Löw's side will now play the winner of Friday's second quarter-final between Brazil or Colombia in next Tuesday's semi-final in Belo Horizonte.
France had entered the match quietly confident of avenging semi-final defeats against Germany in 1982 and 1986. But they were left to rue a lacklustre first half performance which saw Germany dominate in sweltering conditions.
France rallied in the second half and Hummels saved Germany with a desperate late block of a Karim Benzema shot shortly before Manuel Neuer parried a firm strike from Blaise Matuidi.

André Schürrle should have sealed victory in the closing minutes, but with the goal gaping, struck his shot from Mesut Özil's low cross directly at Hugo Lloris in the French goal.
There was still time for Neuer to save Germany at the death, pulling off a brilliant block from Benzema just seconds from the final whistle.

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Extra-time goals by substitute Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Ozil sealed Germany's 2-1 win over Algeria in Monday's last 16 clash and put the three-time winners into the World Cup quarter-finals. The victory at Porto Alegre's Beira-Rio Stadium was Germany's first over Algeria at the third attempt, but this was a far from impressive display by the Germans over 120 minutes.

Schuerrle's deft flick on 92 minutes, then Ozil's 119th-minute tap-in was enough to put Joachim Loew's Germany into Friday's quarter-final at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana stadium against France. Algeria grabbed a deserved consolation for a battling display just before the final whistle as replacement Abdelmoumene Djabou claimed his second World Cup goal.
The stats show Germany had more than three times as many shots on goal as Algeria and their lack of finishing will be a concern for Loew. Much of the pre-match talk had been of Algerian revenge more than three decades after the 'Shame of Gijon' when Germany's mutually beneficial 1-0 win over Austria sent Algeria home from the 1982 World Cup.
But Germany progress to the last eight at the expense of the north Africans, who had reached the last 16 of a World Cup for the first time. Schuerrle's opening goal was just reward for a battling display as he created a string of chances after replacing the ineffective Mario Goetze at the break.
A blocked Goetze shot and a Thomas Mueller header were all Germany had to show for an opening 45 minutes which allowed Algeria to grow in confidence. Sampdoria's Shkrodan Mustafi, who later limped out with a second-half hamstring injury, was a late call-up before kick-off at right-back in a reshuffled defence as flu-victim Mats Hummels dropped out.

Algeria had by far the better of the opening exchanges and forward Islam Slimani had the ball in the German net on 16 minutes, but was flagged for offside. Schuerrle made the difference after the break as left-back Benedikt Hoewedes headed straight at M'Bolhi, while Germany captain Philipp Lahm fired wide with a long-range effort on 54 minutes.
Mustafi's injury brought Real Madrid's defensive midfielder Sami Khedira off the bench for the last 20 minutes as Lahm slotted into right-back. Algeria kept pushing forward, but only a crucial M'Bolhi save denied Mueller with a bullet-header on 80 minutes before he hit the side netting moments later.
Extra-time had barely begun when Mueller fired in a cross which Schuerrle deflected into the back of the net with a deft flick to spare German blushes. Algeria kept up the fight and Mostefa was left with his head in his hands when he fired wide just before the end of the first period of extra time.
Ozil looked to have killed off Algeria's hopes when he added the Germans' second just before the final whistle after an exchange of passes with the impressive Schuerrle. But there was still enough time for Djabou to blast home a thunderbolt of a shot to spark faint hope before the referee ended Algeria's quarter-final dreams.

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Müller fires Germany to victory over USA

Thomas Müller fired an unstoppable 20 metre shot to give Germany a 1-0 victory over the United States on Thursday and top spot in World Cup Group G.
The United States, coached by former German boss Jurgen Klinsmann, also went through to the last 16 despite the 1-0 defeat in rain-sodden Recife.

The 1-0 win and Germany's domination of the game answered doubters who had suggested the two sides could be happy with a draw that would see them both through to the second round.
Germany went on the attack from the start and in the first 20 minutes the ball was seldom out of the US half. Müller and his teammates struggled to create clear cut chances though. The breakthrough came 10 minutes into the second half as US goalkeeper Tim Howard faced more pressure.

Howard punched away a header from Per Mertesacker, but Müller was waiting on the edge of the penalty area and fired it back in giving the goalkeeper no chance.
Müller now has four goals in the tournament taking him level at the top of the scorer's rankings with Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar.

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