Friday, June 30, 2006

Deutschland on the brink

Deutschland on the brink.
Germany have excelled on and off the field. While almost no one dared tip the hosts as potential champions in the run up to the tournament, Jurgen Klinsmann's men have defied the doubters to run in four straight wins and claim a place in the last eight.

Now the test really begins with South American giants Argentina between the Germans and a place in the semi finals.

Should the hosts lose then people will forget their impressive form to date and return to calling them not good enough and an unworthy heir to the champions of 1954, 1974 and 1990.

What might make the difference is the national fervour the team has engendered. Anyone present in Germany has witnessed the extraordinary celebrations up and down the land following each German victory.

The home crowd has effectively become worth a goal start for the National Mannschaft and rode the tide of emotion Klinsmann's team has brought to the nation.

Should they win again today it is hard to see them losing at all in the competition but if the South Americans emerge triumphant, the remarkable wave of German patriotism, one of the greatest one could hope to see in a lifetime, will be a mere memory in a few days.

Copyright © Sean O'Conor

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