BERLIN - German newspapers on Sunday
praised the national team for recovering to beat Uruguay 3-2 in
the third-place playoff game and for giving the country a shot
of patriotic pride that recalled the 2006 World Cup at home.
Many commentators pointed out that the young Germany side
should have a bright future after they enjoyed commanding
victories over England and Argentina with thrilling attacking
play before getting knocked out by Spain in the semi-finals.
They also noted with some satisfaction that it was the
second straight World Cup that Germany took the 'bronze' medal
and their third consecutive World Cup among the top three after
they finished runners-up to Brazil in 2002.
"Thanks lads for giving Germany one last World Cup
celebration," wrote Bild am Sonntag. "What a wonderful World Cup
summer you've given us. Joachim Low has put together a team
that has captivated the imagination of all Germany."
Miriam Nyary wrote that the team gave the country something
special - a new-found pride in its immigrant community. The
side's multi-cultural make-up showed Germans and the world that
Germany, after years of self-denial, is a nation of immigrants.
"You created something magical on the pitch and gave us all
back home in Germany such a thrill watching in the public
viewing venues and on TV at home," Nyary wrote. "From the first
minute you electrified us, made us tremble, cheer and weep.
"But it wasn't just the usual 'German virtues' that gave us
so much joy... on the fan miles Germans and Turks embraced each
other when Mesut Ozil scored the winner against Ghana. This
multi-cultural feeling will remain long after the World Cup."
The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung paid tribute
the celebrity octopus who accurately predicted the winner of all
Germany's World Cup matches - including their two defeats.
"Paul the oracle octopus (at Sea Life) in Oberhausen got it
right again," FAZ wrote. "For the seventh straight time at the
World Cup, Paul correctly picked the winner of Germany's match."
Millions of fans packed public viewing venues and TV ratings
hit record levels. Germans dropped their normal reluctance to
wave flags with the country's black, red and gold colours
adorning public celebrations across Germany.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich said Germany were lucky
to beat Uruguay in Saturday's play-off.
"Germany won a lively atch against Uruguay to take third
place," it wrote.
"But the team looked more like a rock band
that got a bit too over enthusiastic at the start and struggled
to hang on to the end of the concert.
"Yet the team again presented itself as team for the future - and one capable of winning big matches in the present."
Guenter Netzer, a former Germany midfielder and now a TV
pundit, wrote in a Bild am Sonntag column: "Even if they didn't
win the big prize, you have to hand it to this team for a really
great performance. The chances are very good that this team will
land the ultimate prize at one of the next tournaments."
The Welt am Sonntag also looked to the future.
"Germany didn't win the title but instead the team was full
of excitement, creativity and was highly entertaining.
"The team is young and needs more experience - so they will
play with more courage than in last week's semi-final in two or
four years or maybe even win the next title. After all, it has
been 14 years since the last championship was won."
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