Germany won the FIFA World Cup 2014 in a masterclass display of control, temperament,strategy and above all TEAMWORK! The Amul ad forming the basis of this post commemorates a famous German win ,which will be remembered for clockwork precision and flawless execution of the plans right up to the last minute of the 120 minute Championship Match!!!
Estadio Maracana, Rio de Janerio, 13th of July 2014.
The referee had just blown the final whistle of the Championship Match of the FIFA World Cup 2014 and celebrations which had been triggered in the 113th minute had now reached a crescendo which reverberated across the globe.
Mario Goetze , the man responsible for the unbridled celebrations, had been introduced as a substitue for the irrepressible Miroslav Klose in the 88th minute of the game.Within 25 minutes he had broken the deadlock between the two teams decisively.He had scored of his left foot,an audacious volley preceded by a wonderfully controlled ball on the chest which happened to find Goetze because Schuerrle conjured up a precise pass out of nowhere!
Germany had beaten Argentina in the finals of the World Cup by the slimmest of the margins;1- 0! But then in football its the number of goals that count; and mostly a single one suffices.And suffice it did!
It was a momentous occasion for more than one reason.History had been scripted against the will of Lionel Messi,arguably the best player of his generation.Fate and ability had combined to anoint the first ever European nation as Champion at a FIFA World Cup in South America.And this win was also the first ever for ‘Unified’ Germany(The previous three WorldChampionships had been won by West Germany)!
This German team had come together after the first round debacle in the 2004 European Championships when the federation decided to invest in youth.After ten years of labour and some near misses the Germans had finally arrived.They were easily ‘the Best Team’ at the FIFA 2014 World Cup.As it has been said that Brazil had Neymar,Argentina had Messi but Germany had a team! Many feel that the Golden Ball award should have gone to a German rather than the losing finalist, Lionel Messi. But in a perverse sense it could be successfully argued that its a tribute to the team effort of the Germans that none won the Golden Ball .But their goal keeper Neur won the Golden Glove for keeping the German bastion invictus and contributing to the overall aim of the Team.
For their effort the Germans got the 38 cm long 24 carat gold trophy named after Jules Rimet.
The highest peak in world football had been scaled.In their pursuit of the ultimate football glory,the Germans easily dwarfed the remaining 31 contenders (or pretenders) masquerading as opposition at the FIFA 2014 World Cup.
Argentina , the losing finalists, played a good match. Raul Gonsalez,former Spain skipper says “(you) dont deserve to win if you miss chances”.Argentina missed three and Germany converted one. Difference between a lifetime of either haunting or pleasing memories.You are spot on Messi when you say “nothing can console me”.And as yet for Argentina there remains only one Diego Maradona or El Diego who could get them. The World Cup single handedly!
Well its not all “Hail Germany” that i am going to talk about.There are some of these dwarfs who need to be spoken of too..though briefly :)
The Brazilians showcased their unique team work too.Thiago Silva & David Luiz proved they were true buddies in the the third place play off match against Netherlands when they had displayed their own unique brand of team work..
Silva had not been part of the mauling at Salvador.Within three minutes in the match he expressed solidarity with his team by handing a penalty to the Dutch in one of the most oafish infringement (of Arjen Robben) at the World Cup.And good buddy and Head Buffalo,David Luiz, (see Brazil!O Brazil! Its still a beautiful game!) took his Captains worries and embarassment by giving the best possible back pass to the Dutch to score (they did too)! Teamwork,right?Unique….absolutely right!!!
Neymar couldnt stay out of the news himself.
He snivelled at pressers and worked up emotional frenzy while making childish assertions of supporting arch rivals Argentina to avenge the loss to Germany (???).During his medical break he went on to bleech himself three shades closer to being some colour other than black (read up on the net about his penchant for whitening his skin) and In the process he ended up bleeching his underwear too and obscured the brand tags of his sponsors.This was much to the delight of the rival sponsor company.. Neymar’s underwear sponsors never got to know of this “breach in contract” as Neymar is not supposed to bend over and show the label after his back injury.Our very own Arvind Kejriwal will probably sniff a Colombian drug cartel conspiracy as the genesis of back injury to Neymar with the cartel colluding with the rival underwear to render Neymar incapable of endorsing the rival brand!.
So did Brazil lose because of underwear? (! )Wouldn’t it have been better that Neymar didn’t wear any at all? Who knows maybe the FIFA 2014 would have had a different end !Did it really come down to underwear..well… Wonder what Garrincha, Pele, Socrates and Zico have to say about this!!!
There were tremendous protests preceding the hosting of the “Carniball” in Brazil and too many slippages in schedule too.To add to the spice there was an illegal ticket sale scandal to.Reminds us of of our own Common Wealth Games in New Delhi in 2010 (CWG 2010).And then Sheila Dixit, the Chief Minister of Delhi NCR, had taken the fall for the fiasco and now it was the turn of the Brazilian President , Dilma Rousseff and now her only hope, the Selecao, too had exited unceremoniously. Like Dixit, Dilma too is probably going to lose the elections later this year.So reportedly she got in touch with Sheila Dixit to take rehab tips.
But Sheila wasn’t able to help as she herself is on the run and is being shunted around in India!. Damn you Neymar and damn your underwear! Why would anyone wear them for a football match especially since this means Dilma Rousseff gets to be in the wilderness (no not in the wilderness of an underwear but the political type)because Neymar couldn’t decide what to wear down under!
By the way when does India get to be at the World Cup with its present FIFA ranking of 157 out of189 nations??Probably when we have another Joao Havelange raising the number of teams that can participate in the World Cup to 128 from its present 32.Such is our pathetic state that when Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to Brazil he had to issue a public statement that he wasnt there to attend the World Cup Finals but the BRICS summit which was coinciding with the dying moments of the “Carniball”.
Increasing the number of participating teams may be lucky turn for the “Selecao” (Brazilian football team) as I have my doubts whether Brazil will figure in the 32 in 2018 at Russia,with buffaloes representing them instead of footballers!
Coming to the Amul ad.
It depicts the victorious German team celerating the famous win at the WorldCup.The figure holding the trophy aloft is doing it just like,Phillip Lahm,the German skipper did.The bearded man in the front row depicts Mario Goetze and the Amul Girl is lovingly on his shoulders as Goetze shouldered the hopes of the entire German nation during the finals.In the background are the outstretched hands of a goal keeper depicting the imposing figure of Manuel Neur as he has been captured in the photos of that magical night.
The Tag Line..Germania…is a take on the word Alemania used by the Germans to describe their unified nation and also a clever play on the German mania that gripped the World after the imposing performance of the German Team – the Die Mannschaft.
The Punch Line….Bonn To Win…is underscoring the fact that its unified Germany that has won the Wrld Cup and stresses that by bringing to fore Bonn – the capital city of unified Germany.It also conveys that both the German team ad the Amul products are born to win by cleverly playing on the phonetics of the words.
In the end when all the dwarfs have disappeared what stays in memory is the planning excellence of Joachim Loew , the amazing performances by Thomas Mueller & Miroslav Klose as strikers,Bastian Schweinsteiger & Phillip Lahm as medios, Manuel Neur as the unscalable wall and the amazing chemistry between the likes of Sami Kheidira ,Christoph Kramer & Mesut Ozil while blending youth with experience.And above all the beautiful world beating tango by Andreas Schuerrle & Mario Goetze!!!