((Kindly read the first part of blog before jumping here))
Despite the fact that Marco Reus and İlkay Gündoğan were injured and not part of the World Cup, the team stayed firm. With the blend of experience and talent headed by their finest manager Joachim Löw, this Germany team of 2014 was one of most complete team ever won the title.
Such technicalities were missing in Argentina’s side which was a huge morale slipper. In whatever shape the team was, they were consistent in relying the glory on Leo Messi. Despite quality names on forward, the chemistry didn’t work. Manager Alessandro Sabella failed to bring a huge outcome from one of most talented sides of the tournament. The deadly duo of Messi/Aguero became ‘so.called’ deadly duo. Injuries of Aguero and Di Maria came at wrong time.
Sabella regularly disturbed the formation strategy before and during the World Cup which proved his failure. When the coach has a plan, he stick to it and if his team is blessed with bunch of big attackers then he tries to make the formation attacking. Then we expect a strong counter attack. With names of strike-force I am repeating above, you expect ‘shoot to kill’. But the beginning of Sabella’s managerial tactics in the World Cup were embarrassingly disaster. Against the first-timers Bosnia, Sabella presented the most awaiting Argentina under the formation 5-3-2. Result! the whole pressure came on themselves, Bosnia performed impressively in first 45 minutes as the Argentine went way defensive. Sabella’s 5-3-2 plan brutally failed.
It is widely rumored that Messi showed his disappointment to the coach and forced him to change the formation to the most ideal one. At the beginning of next half, 5-3-2 turned into 4-3-3 and Argentina hardly won by 2-1. Sabella still kept changing his mind to sometimes 4-3-3 and sometimes 4-4-2. There was no spark in the team, they and their game looked soulless. Most of the time, they bored the spectators and viewers by performing incomplete passes and missing easy chances. Their legs were quite slow in running they never used to be. Sabella remained defensive till the end.
The FINAL between the two great footballing sides was highly anticipated clash. Keeping in mind the rivalry they developed in recent decades, both teams were hunting for their 3rd ‘FIFA WORLD CUP TROPHY’. Since the golden trophy was introduced replacing Jules Rimet Trophy, both teams along with Italy and Brazil had won this trophy twice. Germany was hunting for their first World Cup win ever since reunification from the name ‘West Germany’ in 1990 and fourth overall. Both teams had defeated each other in the FINAL to win their last ever World Cup. The other major factor was that no European team had ever won the title on American soil in 84 years.
With the first whistle blown in the FINAL, Argentina stayed defensive as the Germans kept impressing of their formidable strength. They remained physical as Argentine defense also didn’t shatter. Despite powerful display, Argentina were granted ‘luck’. An opportunity badly missed when Higuain threw the ball way far then the crossbar. The defender headed to Higuain by mistake and was only the keeper Neuer to beat but couldn’t hold the pressure.
The next time Higuain netted, the referee disallowed due to offside. Higuain met the same offside fate back in 2010, when his 2nd half goal against the very same side was disallowed due to same reason. Oh boy! things getting tight and then Messi missed a great chance after dribbling few players. At full-time, it was a goalless draw. Argentina’s defense was the backbone as the game went extra-time. Palacio repeated the semifinal blunder with an easy chance near the keeper and missed. Then I realized the team has its final say. Had those chances met by the opponents, they would never waste, never ever! Only the strikers were to blame for those chances as the super-sub Mario Götze went on to score a magnificent goal.
This is where you may go more deep to understand the strength of German team that if Plan A do not work, then focus on Plan B. Joachim Löw had remarkable names benched in Draxler, Schürrle, Gotze and Mertesacker, even the team had a brilliant goalkeeper to sub Manuel Neuer in BVB’s veteran goal-keeper Roman Weidenfeller. The consolation goal assisted and scored was done actually by substitutes Schürrle and Gotze respectively. What about Argentina’s benches? Oh I forgot, Sabella’s Plan A and B both are Leo Messi.
The title went from our hands, and Messi & company went dejected. The biggest Argentine crowd ever invaded Copacabana beach and Brazilian streets and stadiums, went stunned. Messi did create chances in FINAL but didn’t come up to the expectations. It was indeed a very painful sight to lose the final. It surely was Argentina’s greatest opportunity ever in 28 years to take the title but alas! Messi could have become ultimately the greatest footballer ever to take the title but now for at least four years, he will remain under the shadow of Maradona.
LEO MESSI WON GOLDEN BALL
Leo Messi winning Golden Ball award!!! For receiving the award, he looked very devastated for surely that was never the award he had burning desires to win. Millions have shared their views and opinions about his winning the Golden Ball which means the award for the best player of the tournament.
Last 5 World Cups have witnessed the Golden Ball handed to the loser. Romario was the last recipient of Golden Ball who won the World Cup. Before Messi, his fellow Argentines winning the Golden Ball were the World Cup winners Mario Kempes and Diego Maradona. Had Messi won the title, could have been the perfect hat trick but now it looks a bit odd to see Messi in level with them without holding a World Cup. Argentina is now the footballing nation with most Golden Ball winners but who cares. Being world champion signifies more than individual awards which Messi has many.
Should Messi have won the Golden Ball?? Was he deserving or not?? My opinion fell in two aspects to judge his credibility for the award:
1) Plus point – INSPIRATION: Being captain and the main weapon, Leo Messi single-handedly made his team reach to at least the Semifinals. Won all three games by himself in group stage. Assisted Di Maria in R16 and created chance for Higuain in Quarters against Belgium. Semifinal was a sorry note but he created few more chances in FINAL. Messi was the biggest reason this soul-lost team reached the Final. Had he not been playing, Argentina would be placed not even third in the group stage.
2) Minus point – AURA of SHOW: This is not the same Messi we used to watch him play in those golden years between 2008-2012. He lacked that body language and the biggest reason is his injuries which lowed him since record-breaking 2012. For winning ‘BEST PLAYER’ of the tournament, you are compared to the other master performers of the tournament where he surely don’t rank on the top at least.
WHAT IS ARGENTINA’S FUTURE??
In latest FIFA World Rankings, Argentina is placed 2nd in world ranking with Germany leading the rankings for the first time in nearly 20 years. Argentina’s new ranking is motivational but not realistic.
So now what should be done??
How can Argentina come back to its prime what supporters have known for decades??
What steps should AFA (Argentina Football Association) take now??
First of all, terminate contract of head-coach Alessandro Sabella (if he don’t resign). He is massively responsible in destroying Argentina football. It is not like if Argentina do not have great managers. The last time Argentina ever had rendered a valuable service of a genuine head-coach, it was José Pékerman. Under him, Argentina was the most talented line up the last time ever back in 2006 edition. He recently enjoyed tremendous success with Colombia as the team reached the Quarterfinal for the first time in World Cup despite the absence of their key player Radamel Falcao but the presence of amazing young talent James Rodríguez.
Other options!! We have Jorge Sampaoli, the head-coach of Chile. Chile has become more attacking and physical under him as compared to the last World Cup campaign. Another impression is their powerful defense which was clearly seen in games against Spain and Brazil. The other big name is in fact the mighty one, Diego Simeone. I know the Atletico Madrid manager has no intention to leave the Spanish club right now but still he is the hottest name to be considered for coaching Argentina in future. Recently, he stated that he might coach the team in future but he feels he is not in position to take this job now and should be the most experienced one like Luis Aragonés or Vincent del Bosque.
There should be no argument and there is no doubt that Argentina has a lot of talent and enjoys rich culture of football. They have won the most U-20 World Cups than any other teams (6). In fact they won 5 of those titles since 1995. It is all about grooming the youngsters under correct and genuine hands. May AFA take some steps in these four years to develop a strong team under a strong manager for the next tournament to be played in Russia.
I am proud of my team. Despite all the mistakes, they worked very hard to achieve the goal when no one expected us to even cross the Quarterfinal. We struggled to prove the critics wrong but lost to the best side of the tournament. I am proud that we played strongly against the Germans, fought hard and when lost, we lost by only one goal. We lost with pride and dignity. Many emotional fans were taunting that after humiliating Brazil at their own backyard, Germans will kill Argentine but that never happened.
I congratulate Joachim Löw for taking what you deserve. Your team won the title and undoubtedly you were the deserving team. Since that defeat in Mexico, you have come hard on us and thanks for presenting a dynamic team. Commiserations for my Argentina! when you lose on ground with pride, my love grows more for you. Being runner-up, I hope to see the team progress more in coming years.
Ole ole ole, ole ole ole ola,
ole ole ole cada día te quiero más,
yo soy argentino, es un sentimiento, no puedo parar!
Ole ole ole, ole ole ole ola,
ole ole ole, I love you more with every day,
I am Argentina, it is just a feeling, that I cannot stop.
Vamos Argentina!! Viva Leo Messi!!
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