Wednesday, June 16, 2010

World Cup: A New Germany, a Too-Familiar Italy

Sports history teaches us not to be too hasty in drawing conclusions. Yet it is tempting to observe as this World Cup unfolds that Germany may be rising again, and Italy, the defending champion, falling.

There seems to be a new, vibrant, powerful Germany: a side whose players are too young to fear defeat and whose diverse ethnic backgrounds are a testimony to the society now forming in that country.

The European champion at the under-21 level, Germany looks to be going for youth and integration in a big way.

Italy, in contrast, clings largely to the team that won the last World Cup, in Berlin in 2006. Its cautiously played 1-1 tie with Paraguay on Monday in Cape Town confirmed suspicions that Italy is growing long in the tooth.

To read more (really interesting article about the new German team): http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/sports/soccer/16iht-WCSOCCER.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a23

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