Germany has probably been the best bet for many neutrals during this World Cup. It was a bit ironic to be honest that they were underdog against England, and to back them at almost three times the money against Argentina was a gift when the goals started to rain in and the biggest icon of them all, Diego Maradona, was driven close to tears.
I chatted with a friend afterwards – one of those many good punters in betting-mature Sweden – and told him that Germany will probably be underdog odds-wise against Spain as well and you better place your stake early before the odds is getting shortened. And of course that was the case; Germany has been the best team in the tournament so far but in all play-off matches, from last 16 and onwards, they have been the underdog odds-wise. Bookmaking is an odd trade sometimes and I guess there are some neutrals out there who will cheer for Germany being priced as they are.
The reason is of course that Spain has been viewed as the nr 1 team on the planet since two years, and that everyone is waiting for their slick and beautiful football to kick-in 100 percent in the semi-final, but who knows? If you put all the quality you have seen in Germany’s free-flowing, blistering football together, you don’t have to be an Einstein to fancy their chances against this Spanish side that have some issues to solve. Don’t mention Torres. It could be all over after 90 minutes and you can only be a humble admirer when you look at the German football school.
This is Germany’s 11th semi-final in a World Cup – yes, please read it again – and if everything works out well for the team they can grab the nations fourth World Cup title. All players in the German squad play in Bundesliga and with the youthful touch it has, this could become a legendary side. I remember Paul Breitner and Gerd Muller from the ‘74 team, and the Brehme’s and Völler’s from the Italia ‘90 team, two great sides for sure, but not as entertaining and filled with pace and trickery as this side.
Germany steps into the pitch thinking they are in the semi-final when the tournament starts and this has been in their World Cup genes for such a long time, generation after generation. Implement some of that mentality in some other teams and even England could reach the semi-final in a World Cup in the future maybe. But I don’t want to rub any more salt into Rooney’s red face in Barbados: I guess he will watch the game under the sun and probably place a flutter or two on Germany. They say it is about Vorsprung durch Technik when it comes to German excellence in industry and manufacturing. This colorful national team knows all about it too.