By Alan Phillips
It’s officially all over and like many predicted, in the end the Germans deservedly squeaked it.Â In a final that was very physical and skilful we witnessed a tense climax to what was a truly engaging tournament.Â It’s better that it didn’t go to penalties, even though it would have prolonged the enjoyment.
From the shock of the title holders limping out early doors, to the hosts imploding in the semi-final, World Cup 2014 truly was full of intrigue from start to finish.
With the usual zillions of people watching on television, it’s been reported that the use of football betting apps massively increased the amount wagered on this World Cup – and it would have been a mixed bag for bookmakers and punters alike.Â The Germans showed their class early on in the tournament and when they beat the hosts in such emphatic style their odds deservedly shortened for the final.
Perhaps the defining moment in the final was when Argentina earned themselves a free kick in the dying minutes.Â With the supremely talented Lionel Messi stepping up to take it, the pressure on the man was extreme.Â But it proved to be too much for the little maestro.Â Who wouldn’t have loved it if he had he managed to whip the ball into the back of the net as he does so often (German fans excepted!)?
Alas, it wasn’t to be and that takes nothing away from Mario GÃ¶tze’s sublime winner.Â When the young Bayern Munich attacking midfielder came on a sub he brought real energy to his tiring team mates and has now immortalised his name in the history of football.
How did your bets fare?Â With users of mobile apps like BookieBoost frantically taking advantage of free bets and price boosts from betting firms, the feeling is that those in the know had their money on the Germans from early on in the tournament.Â ‘Yes, but no team from outside South America has ever won a World Cup in South America’, they kept telling us.Â In the end, Lionel Messi despite flashes of brilliance just could not unlock that rock solid German defence.Â And Bastian Schweinsteiger’s midfield heroics deserved nothing less.Â At times he looked more like a boxer.
And now Scolari has fallen on his sword as Brazil look to rebuild after the hosts could only manage fourth.Â Congratulations to the Germans and Argentinians – and now we wait four more years….