Germans look hotshots to win Cup final
OPINION: This has been the best football World Cup I have witnessed.
I only go back to 1998, so the sample size is not that big, but the goals, the drama and that semifinal will have it living long in my memory.
Germany should win, a belief held long before their 7-1 semifinal victory over Brazil on Wednesday morning. Their defence is solid, attack potent and they are a well-structured team.
Argentina will rely on Lionel Messi. The super striker will be looking to nail down his spot as one of the legends of the game by leading his team to World Cup glory in the final on Monday morning.
Here's hoping the match is decided in 120 minutes of genuine football. Penalty shootouts seem like a real gamble, like picking a colour on a roulette wheel. It feels like matches are won by whichever goalkeeper guesses the right way the shot is going.
I'd rather the final was played to sudden death, even if it ended at a walking pace.
You have to feel sorry for the Dutch and the Brazilians, having to play a third v fourth playoff game.
Meaningless in its magnificence, the match is used purely to generate money.
It's hard to imagine that finishing third will do wonders for either team.
Italy and England underperformed yet again, while the Spanish put too much emphasis on the old guard to progress past the group stages.
Costa Rica were the surprise team of the competition but when you look at the final four, this tournament has been one for the purists among football fans.
- The Timaru Herald