Germany’s trouncing of Argentina not only makes us feel ever so slightly better about having lost by a similar margin – as it was when I started writing; it became greater of course – and with much more by way of grievances to moan about.
It also means reports of the demise of European football have been greatly exaggerated. Mark Twain, who said something like that about his own prematurely recorded death, would agree, whether or nor he, too, would have hated the fact that it required Germans to make the point.
But, of course, it doesn’t. The Netherlands have already disposed of Brazil, and the 2-1 win was ultimately deserved.
Much as we – Sunderland fans – may pray for it to be otherwise, Spain are expected to end the Paraguayan dream tonight (come back and remind me of these words if they turn out to be foolish!).
At least two, then, and maybe three of the semi finalists will be from Europe, and one of them is now more likely than any other remaining nation to carry off the cup. Only a fortnight ago, we – the old footballing nations of Europe – were being written off by sneering, know-nothing columnists in New York and elsewhere as having been reduced to minor contender status.
Bordering on treason it may be, but I therefore welcome a thumping German victory over Argentina.