the last day
fever pitch


It was a fitting final for a very good World Cup. Despite the long goal drought, the match was always interesting. Germany dominated possession … you could say they dominated the match, but it wasn’t like that, because the best chances fell to Argentina. Hard to explain, for the Germans got off their share of shots, a good portion of them on target, and Romero didn’t have a great game in goal for the Argentines … not bad, not good, just average. But I can’t think of a single German shot that made me jump out of my seat until the winner. Meanwhile, Argentina took turns missing fairly easy chances: Higuaín, Messi, Palacio. For me, the key stat was this: while Argentina only had 36% of possession, their 10 shots were equal to Germany’s total. But 9 of Argentina’s shots were off target, and one was blocked. Not a single shot on target.

The goal was a beauty, Schürrle with a great assist and Götze putting it away. I was rooting for Argentina, but the end was fitting. Germany was the best team in the tournament.

I admit I was a bit pissed off at what I saw as Neuer’s too-dangerous destruction of Higuaín on that one ball, but in the end, it didn’t matter.

One thing to note: Messi had a decent game, and he had a good World Cup. People wanted him to have an earth-shattering tournament, wanted him to overwhelm the Germans in the final, and that didn’t happen. He wasn’t as good as we’ve seen him in the past. So people will try to tell you he was poor in the final, poor in the Cup. They are full of shit. He was not the best player in this World Cup, but he was good. If you are looking for a goat, look somewhere else. I’m not sure I would have given him the Golden Ball, and I know he would give it back in a second for a World Cup win. But the award is a nice recognition, and James Rodríguez has a long career ahead of him.

For those of you who popped in, as you always do every four years, I hope you enjoyed the tournament, and I hope you take in a match or two between now and 2018. For those of you who only surfaced to be haters, go fuck yourself.

For the rest of us, who will be watching soccer again very soon: James Rodríguez is 23 years old.

As is custom here, I’ll have one last post to close off the World Cup blog for another four years.