WC2010 review: Germany
As usual, Germany made something out of seemingly nothing and gave their fans hope of a fourth world title.
Touted to possibly finish in the top eight, Die Mannschaft played out of their skins to clinch third place and the manner in which they did it was the envy of all other teams as they smashed quality outfits Argentina and England by heavy margins.
Joachim Low pulled a relatively young and unknown World Cup squad together, who lost their inspirational captain Michael Ballack on the eve of the tournament, and turned them into household names.
Thomas Mueller, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng were amongst those not hugely known worldwide but ended the tournament as superstars who narrowly went down to eventual champions Spain in the semi-final.
Low admitted his side performed remarkably and above expectations but now wanted to leave a marking impression from a German football standpoint.
"It's been a remarkable tournament from our point of view. Eight or nine weeks ago, you wouldn't necessarily have expected us to achieve what we have done," he told FIFA.com.
"I particularly value the outstanding impression these players have given both on and off the field of play: they're dedicated to their work, courageous in matches, prepared to take risks, work as a team, and uphold mutual respect. They didn't just play with each other, they played for each other. I'm proud of the impression we've left behind."
Finished: 3rd Record: Wins - 5; Draws - 0; Losses - 2; Points - 6 Matches: Australia (4-0), Serbia (0-1), Ghana (1-0), RO16-England (4-1), QF-Argentina (4-0), SF-Spain (0-1), 3P-Uruguay (3-2) Goals: 16 Against: 5
tribalfootball.com's Star Man Thomas Mueller (Equal-most goals and equal-most assists for the tournament gets Mueller the nod over a host of other Germans)
Red cardsMiroslav Klose 1 (2 yellow cards)
SavesManuel Neuer 22