Over the last 80-plus years of the World Cup, certain national teams have become famous for their particular styles: Brazil has the flashy play and the trophies. Italy has perfected the ability to save their effort for the games that matter most, and they also possess the biggest collection of world class divers this side of Greg Louganis. The Netherlands always looks unstoppable until choking away the big game; Argentina has cheating and mass-murdering juntas. And then there’s Germany, which has built a methodical and highly organized soccer machine (who could have guessed?), and as a result can sometimes be overshadowed by some of these other, flashier teams. Today I’m here to profess my awe at the mighty power of Die Mannschaft! (why does everyone giggle whenever I say that?)
Here’s a breakdown of Germany’s performances in the World Cup:
Chile 1962: Lost to Yugoslavia in the quarterfinals (0-1).
England 1966: Lost to the hosts in the finals (4-2 in overtime), the only time in history England has beaten Germany without Americans doing most of the actual work (hyooo!).
Mexico 1970: Took third place by beating Uruguay 1-0 (the bastards!).
Germany 1974: Won its second Cup, beating Netherlands 2-1 in the final. This was also the only tournament appearance by East Germany, which beat West Germany in a first round game. That’s right: Germany’s only loss of the tournament was to itself.
Argentina 1978: Reached the semifinal round (which was made up of 8 teams placed in two groups of 4) but was unable to place in the top two of its group, therefore missing out on the top four spots (FIFA is complicated).
Spain 1982: Lost to Italy 3-1 in the final.
Mexico 1986: Lost to Argentina 3-2 in the final. It was promptly sued by the Netherlands for copyright infringement.
Back in the final game for the third consecutive tournament, Germany won its third cup by beating Argentina zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… I can’t even talk about that Cup without falling asleep.
USA 1994: Reunited and it feels so good! With the full power of both East and West Germany behind them, the team was promptly shocked by Bulgaria in the quarters 2-1, breaking up a streak of 7 straight semifinal appearances. A petition to rebuild the Berlin Wall gathered millions of signatures but was narrowly defeated in Parliament.
France 1998: Out again in the quarters, this time losing to Croatia 3-0.
South Korea/Japan 2002: Another Cup, another final; this time a 2-0 loss to Brazil.
Germany 2006: Heavily favored to win the Cup at home, Germany was upset in the semifinals by Italy and settled for third place after beating Portugal 3-1.
South Africa 2010: Took third place yet again, beating Uruguay 3-2 (come on now!).
So there you have it: In 17 tournaments, Germany won 3 titles, came in second 4 times, and reached the semifinal stage in 6 others. They failed to advance to the quarterfinals only once. So how about a little love for zee Germans?
Featured image courtesy of: The Sun (UK)
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