I meant to post this yesterday but didn’t get around to it, sorry! The story begins at the Brandenburg Gate 24 hours ago:
As I write the German football team are dancing on a stage at the Brandenburg Gate. Before their “Sieger Flieger” landed, the plane took a spin over the fan-zone, where half a million people clad in red, black and gold were waiting to welcome their heroes home.
I have no idea how half a million people have nowhere else to be on a weekday morning. But this is Berlin; they’re probably in the creative industry or have called in sick.
As I watch Berlin explode with festivities, I’m reminded of the cliché that when Germans do party, they tend to party hard.
And, come to think of it, identifying the right time to party has been key to this team’s success.
Throughout Germany’s stellar World Cup campaign, coach Joachim Löw has refused to celebrate prematurely. Instead, he remained adamant that each team Germany faced had the potential to end their championship dream. He was right too; after his side’s spectacular 4-0 defeat of Portugal, Germany could only muster a 2-2 draw against Ghana.
And after their epic 7-1 win over Brazil, which broke social media as well as footballing records, he remained determined in his caution.
Löw’s measured style may be seen as a tactic to keep his team level-headed before the final. But it was matched, if not exceeded by Merkel’s endearingly understated response.
Appearing at a press conference the day after her country’s 7-1 defeat of Brazil, she said: “I agree with the global opinion that it was a very good match … I think it almost merits the description ‘historic.’”
She went on to wish the team “strength and concentration for the task at hand.”
Strength and concentration, seasoned with some good old-fashioned caution, is the German recipe for Weltmeisterschaft success. What’s yours?