Africa can learn from Germany

JOHANNESBURG - The 2014 Fifa World Cup has come and gone and we await Russia 2018 for the next global football fiesta again.

The Brazil 2014 was some soccer festival. The tournament had everything for a great football extravaganza – plenty of goals, sizzling and entertaining soccer and there was no shortage of drama from day one until the final.

It is now history that Germany was crowned champions but as for Lionel Messi, he will have to try again to win the World Cup title if he is to be mentioned in the same sphere as that of Pele and Maradona.

At least age is on his side. But by the time Russia comes, he will be 31 and as with soccer players, he will be at the prime of his career.

Though my money was on Argentina winning the title, Germany overall were worthy winners.

They played with passion, were more determined than any other team and their entire plan just came together during this tournament. They have a youthful squad which is still to reach their peak.

Just like the golden era of Spain which saw Del Bosque’s side dominate Europe and the world but seems to have ended with the 2014 World Cup, this German side is threatening to do the same.

With the World Cup trophy in the bag, they will develop a close camaraderie and that is a sign of a team which is bound to leave a lasting legacy.

The likes of Mario Götze who netted the winning goal during the final, André Schürrle, Bastian Schweinsteiger and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer among others are still in their prime and still have a minimum of two World Cups still to play. They can only grow stronger by playing constantly together and bond as a unit.

Coach Joachim Loew is also bound to receive a long term contract from his employers which is bad news for any country trying to wrestle the title from the West European giants.

While this Germany ‘Empire’ is likely to rule the universe for years to come, the same cannot be said of record World Cup winners Brazil who hit an all-time low during the just ended fiesta.

Losing 7-1 and 3-0 to Germany and Netherlands in successive games was the worst Brazil sunk and in subsequent days ultimately cost coach Fillipe Scolari his plum job.

The Brazilians have always pride themselves in being the home of Samba football but would want to close the 2014 chapter as an experience that they would want to forget in a hurry.

They will have to go into a rebuilding phase but that takes time for a country which has for years considered itself as the number football nation on the universe.

Signs of a Brazilian side without style were seen long before their 7-1 semi-final capitulation and the 3-0 third place play-off game against Netherlands just sealed what many saw in the opening games.

African teams can learn from this World Cup. It takes years of planning for a team to do well.

Spain and Germany have shown that there is no short-cut to success.

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