Sunday, July 4, 2010

Youth Reinvigorates Germany’s Team

We have seen our last tango fromLionel Messi and Diego Maradona at this World Cup. Instead, we had four triumphal jigs performed by Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, in front of South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, on Saturday.

Merkel has arrived to cheer her boys. For the second successive weekend, the Germans have obliterated highly talented opponents. Last Sunday it was 4-1 against the English, and on Saturday it was 4-0 against Argentina.

There can be no equivocation with such score lines. There is no doubt that Germany’s team, invigorated by youth and blessed with the refreshing talents of the sons of immigrant workers, is a force on the global stage again. And when you see Mesut Özil glide, when you watch how easily Sami Khedira stands in for the injured captain Michael Ballack, you can no longer think of Germany as a soccer machine. Its movement is swifter, somewhat more expressive than on German teams of old.

In Thomas Müller, just 20 years old but already a major influence of Germany’s counterattacking stealth, can be found a famous name in a fresh physical shape.

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