Tonight is the last game of the world cup. Germany versus Argentina. Germany will win of course – or at least I hope so, as that is where I live, and I will be watching the match with neighbours tonight.
Everyone is caught up in the fever before the game here. The filling station will close early, there are live viewings in all the bars and restaurants ( well nearly all). It is probably not worth opening if you do not have live viewing. My husband had to fly to the UK today for a funeral. He got an amazing bargain fare because no German would choose to fly today. He will miss the match of course, but he is not German, so will survive.
Before the semi final against Brazil, lots of traders were offering special deals. 10% off for every goal Germany scored, or a free loaf of bread for every goal. They scored 7. That hit those traders who had not put a cap on the deal hard indeed. I think this time there may not be so many deals around, although I know of one who is still offering 10% per goal valid to midnight tomorrow, so I am hoping for 2 or 3 goals tonight.
Some of my colleagues have chosen to take the day off tomorrow, as they expect to celebrate tonight I think. I expect the train to be full of tired commuters. That is the thing with this world cup. Being in Brazil the matches are all on really late here, and if they go to penalties, then it means people are getting to bed well after midnight. That makes for a lot of tired commuters every day.
You may have read various analysis of why Germany is doing well, and other countries that rely on a few highly paid star players are not. The approach here stems for a time of also never winning the world cup, of losing out to other countries time and again. The football governing body changed the way it was working. Training camps for young talent were set up all over the country, promising players were scouted and coached. There was a ban on having too many foreign players in the top clubs, and one of the top financiers happened to pull out or go bust at the same time, which meant that German clubs no longer had the money to buy expensive players.
All that investment in young talent has paid off this year, with the Germany team being young and motivated. They play as a team and not as individual stars, and the goalie Neuer is brilliant. I could swear his arms extend when the ball is near.
So I am looking forward to a good game tonight, and to being able to wear my England shirt for longer next time the occasion arises.
So other countries could look and learn, and I hope they do. Especially England. England is still thought of over here as one of the great footballing nations, and so it should be. They just need to change a few things.