This team is for the future
Germany and Uruguay will contest for the wooden spoon in a game neither team wanted to play. The disappointment of defeat and of what might have been will still be fresh in their minds.sports Updated: Jul 09, 2010 23:55 IST
Germany and Uruguay will contest for the wooden spoon in a game neither team wanted to play. The disappointment of defeat and of what might have been will still be fresh in their minds. For both teams, it is a chance to restore a little pride and self-belief, to thank the supporters, and to play in a match without too much pressure. While both teams will want to win, the players will be freer to express themselves, and to entertain a little. The greater difficulty is in finding the motivation to lift yourself and play to your best.
For Uruguay, a small nation sandwiched by giants Argentina and Brazil, this World Cup has given a sense of pride. They have performed above expectations and they can be proud of their achievement. In Lugano, they have a great leader, and in Forlan one of the most exciting forwards in the tournament.
Perhaps, the abiding memory of Uruguay in this World Cup will be the deliberate handball by Suarez that denied Ghana victory. That would be a shame, for how many of us, given the enormity of the prize at stake and the split-second in which to decide, would not have done the same? For a professional player, there really is no choice to be made. In edging past South Korea, coming through extra-time and penalties against Ghana and in twice pulling a goal back against the Netherlands, Uruguay showed great character. Coach Oscar Tabarez and his team can be proud. Germany came into this competition following a string of injuries to key players. To some extent, we were compelled to play some of the younger players ahead of their time. They have responded magnificently. Ozil has been a sensation, so too Mueller, there have been so many positives for coach Loew to take forward. In four years’ time, this team will be more experienced, it will be stronger, and we will be among the favourites to win the World Cup in Brazil.
I would like to see the team find a way to break down massed defences, although this is always difficult for any side. We can look at Spain and learn more about passing and movement in tight areas, but time is on our side.
This game will perhaps be more open, which will suit Germany. With Mueller back, I expect to see the devastating counter-attacks and potent finishing that has characterised our games against Australia, England and Argentina. Uruguay will commit players forward and that will mean that they will leave space behind that we can use.