The story was different in Germany. After making it out of group stages, Germany stormed to a 4-1 victory over England followed by a 4-0 win over powerful Argentina to get to the semi-finals. But they were defeated in their semi-final game by Spain 1-0. After those two wins in the earlier stages, Germany became the favorite to win the title. Suddenly the Germans felt that they should just be handed the World Cup trophy since they felt that they were going to win anyway. They had a "nobody can beat us" attitude that became arrogance. But the Germans have a recent history of not being able to win the big game and this curse struck again in the form of a superior Spanish team. After the game, the mood in Germany was like people found out that their whole family just got killed in a disaster. As soon as the final whistle blew, people went home dejected. They couldn't believe that their team lost, even though being in the final 4 of the World Cup is a big honor. There were no parties celebrating the team after the semi-final loss. Even the team felt like they had failed since their goal in this World Cup was to improve on their 3rd place finish from 4 years ago. In a display of poor sportsmanship, German captain Philip Lahm stated that he didn't feel like his team should have to play for 3rd place. The German team is scheduled to leave South Africa on Sunday and will be in transit back to Germany while the final game is being played. When they return home, they won't be met by huge crowds that are proud of their team.
I think that I will cheer for Uruguay in the game for 3rd place on Saturday. Uruguay has nothing to lose and may surprise Germany, just like they surprised their other opponents in the tournament. I'd rather cheer for a team that is thrilled to be in its position than for one who acts like losing in the semi-finals of the World Cup is tantamount to failure. Germany may just go through the motions of playing since they're so upset about their loss to Spain, while Uruguay will probably play with the heart that got them into the final four. It will be a very interesting game.