I’m pleased to see Germany win the World Cup. Anyone who pays attention to soccer should know that this shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise, considering Germany pretty much demolished their way into World Cup qualification, and there was little reason to believe that it would have been any different throughout the tournament. Maybe the 7-1 pownage of Brazil was a little bit surprising, but the fact that they were as good as they played, and that they actually won it all, wasn’t that big of a shocker.
But speaking of Brazil, the day before Germany iced the cake, was the ever-essential third place match. Most cases, the third place match is completely irrelevant, nobody watches it, and the players themselves don’t even want to be in it. But in a few instances, like this World Cup, it has meaning, because the host country is in it. It’s the final hurrah for the host’s gallant effort to reach the top, and it’s one last opportunity for them to get what 15 other teams do not get: a chance to end their World Cup experience with a victory, instead of going home in defeat.