When it comes to the World Cup, younger football fans will have few outstanding memories to hang on to. However, after a dismal few years on the international scene, the 2014 World Cup has restored pride and faith in the world's largest tournament. It was almost impossible for the 2014 World Cup to fail in terms of excitement and drama, largely due to the fact the 2010 edition was so forgettable.
But it's exceeded all expectations with some phenomenal football, and the tournament has ultimately been regarded as an overwhelming success. Underdogs have prevailed, while the top stars in world football came to the party.
However, for all the allegiances and bias across the globe, there can be little doubt that the team that deserved to win eventually lifted the trophy. It was clear early on that this was Germany's World Cup, and they finally came good when it mattered on the international stage, after 18 years of being chief bridesmaid to the likes of Spain and Brazil.
It would have been a crime had this German team (with the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm) retired without ever winning a major international tournament. Those two men in particular stood out as real leaders throughout the World Cup, something several big nations lacked so dearly.
Many craved for an Argentina win in order to satisfy Lionel Messi's CV. But that wasn't the fairytale that Brazil 2014 promised, in all honesty. The tournament was thrilling from start to finish: think Brazil's opening-night victory that came with such controversy right through to the plethora of world-class goals we were exposed to.
With a tournament that provided so much in the way of excitement and drama, it was fitting that the World Cup's most exciting team were the ones who got their hands on the prize. Germany were the great entertainers from start to finish, and they provided a footballing masterclass in all seven games they played. People will point to their narrow victory over Algeria as a low point, but better teams would have failed in that scenario.
Germany's resilience was what made them as endearing as their attacking prowess. Winning a World Cup is as much about being hard to beat as it is about possessing a free-flowing attack, and the Germans ticked both of those boxes with real emphasis.
Quite what the future holds for Germany is unclear. Several of their elder statesmen are coming to the end of their time in international football, with the European Championships in two years' time perhaps a last hurrah for the likes of Lahm and Schweinsteiger. But for now we should all be thankful that the most beautiful World Cup of an entire generation was capped off with the correct winners.
Argentinian fans won't like to hear it, but it was written in the stars that Germany would win.
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