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The Best World Cup Goal Was the Last

Mario Götze’s brilliant strike was the logical output of a perfectly functioning German machine.


Photo: Pedro Uguarte / AFP / Getty Images


Even if yesterday’s World Cup final had come down to penalty kicks, the game would have been memorable. Just when Germany’s dominance had ceased to be debate-able, Argentina threw a wrench into the Die Mannschaft game plan, intercepting passes and counterpunching with ferocity. The game was deadlocked until precisely the moment it wasn’t deadlocked any more. Andre Schürrle lobbed a cross from the deep corner in the 113th minute and - before you could blink – Germany’s fun-size super sub Mario Götze had controlled it with his chest and hammered it into the side netting. It was the most spectacular goal of the entire Cup.

Sure, there were some serious golazos during competition. The Netherland’s Robin Van Persie started the fireworks with a diving header against Spain and Colombia’s James Rodriguez swiveled his hips and knocked a thigh-high ball past Uruguay’s Fernando Muslera. Even Australia got in on the act when Tim Cahill volleyed a ball served from half into the bottom of the crossbar. Those were all magnificent strikes – worthy of the millions of YouTube viewings they’ve received – but they were remarkable because of the final touch, not the build up. Germany’s one goal against the determined Argentines was a ludicrous play.

The play actually began on the other side of the field when Philip Lahm gained possession and passed the ball to Sebastian Schweinsteiger. Schweinsteiger sent it back to Jerome Boateng, who sent it over to Mats Hummels, who sent it to Toni Kroos, who sent it up to Schürrle, who sent it back to Götze, who passed it back to Schürrle, who threaded it between two players back to Götze who twirled and shot. That’s a pretty bit of execution 113 minutes into a match and there was basically nothing the La Albiceleste could do to stop it. No mistakes were made on either side of the ball.

The Germans are just that good.

 


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