Re: The da Vinci 2014 World Cup Challenge 'Select the Winner & Enjoy a Dinner'
Hehe - they was, and were a mere Mascherano toenail with 30 seconds left from losing to Holland in the semis.
Germany has always been a huge force in world football, but in the good old days - say all the time up to the mid 00's - were known for everything but beautiful football. After winning the European Championship in 96, they saw France rise to the top of world football (WC 98, EC 00) by changes in the educational system of young players, and how they organized that system. Well, Germany catched on, and with Klinsmann and Loew in charge, the difference was apparent already in the World Cup in Germany 06. In the European Championships - a tournament many consider even harder to win than the WC - 2008, Germany reached the final vs Spain, but lost to one of the best troops ever. Since then, they have been among the top 4 every big tournament - WC 2010, EC 2012 and could finally win in 2014. They have a systematic approach to the training of young talents, along with an accepted idea of how to play, and continue to produce world class players - as evident in their winning of the Junior European Championships some years ago.
Overall, their feats are hugely impressive. Since winning gold in the World Cup 1974, they handed home silver in 82, silver in 86, gold in 90, had some tough years except the Euros 96 and was back for another silver in 02.