Kyo-wa: Portugal vs Deutschland.
Above: The Great Neck, ilustration by Evgeny Parfenov, via Clusta. A classic confrontation and renewal of a rivalry started in 2002, Germany goes forward without coach Jogi Löw on the sideline, scandalously banned by an international conspiracy of sideline referees (fourth men without… whistles). Big Phil himself, legendary coach for the Portugese side, has expressed support for Löw. (See video.)
A bitter Urteil (judgement), and surely the Portugese, playing some of the most attractive football in the tournament, are favored to win. Zugegeben. But… ask any Englishman (My apologies.–Ed.), Germany always has the enigmatic wisdom of Sepp Herberger on our side, “Der Ball ist Rund.” (Quoi? “The ball is round,” his mystical response to a reporter’s question on how his clearly weaker side beat the mighty Hungarians in the world Cup in 1954.)
Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt. (Hope dies last.) Unser Hoffnungsträger?
Above: From Stern, our “hope-carrier” Michael Ballack about to warp the space-time continuum with a ball. (Don’t believe me?) 121km/h later, it would still be flying where it not for the back of the Austrian net. But one player is not enough.
Elf freunde müsst Ihr sein! Eleven friends must you be.
(1954, Herberger/-55,167 B.C., Yoda).
Fightoh, super Deutschland, ipatsu!