Mendoza: Pope Francis surprised by Germans’ win?

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Monday, July 14, 2014

GERMANY won the World Cup on Monday and there wasn’t much surprise there because the Germans were heavily favored to defeat Argentina anyways.

For one, Germany authored the tournament’s most devastating victory—a 7-1 semifinal thrashing of third-ranked Brazil. For another, Germany is the world’s No. 2 behind No. 1 Spain, with Argentina No. 5.

I recorded three surprises in yesterday’s battle for the 18-karat gold Rimet Trophy, though.


One, how come it took Germany 113 minutes to score the winning goal?

Two, how come Lionel Messi was practically never a factor for Argentina? Was he unmasked as Mr. Choker when everything, including his legacy, was on the line?

Three, that Mario Gotze was the first substitute to score the winning goal in the World Cup was a big boost to all the benchwarmers in the world, in whatever sport they may be playing. Patience, my dear; all will be called in God’s time.

I woke up at the sound of my alarm clock at 2:45 a.m. for the 3 a.m. match. The game did not disappoint.

Only Messi was a big disappointment. He said before the game he’d do his best if only for his idol Maradona, Argentina’s greatest player of all time. If that was Messi’s best yesterday, I don’t know what is best, anymore. Even his possible game-tying free kick went way, way out of target.

Isn’t he called the magician, in the mold of the late, lamented Garrincha, the Brazilian World Cup legend who was the superstar-magician teammate of the legendary Pele?

(By the way, Silverio Ceniza Jr. e-mailed to say Pele is from Brazil and not from Argentina. Gosh, how can I commit such a horrible blunder? My apologies.)

Did Gotze come at the right place and at the right time to score the match’s lone goal, giving Germany a dramatic 1-0 victor over Argentina?

Or was his entry in the 30-minute extension a master stroke from German coach Joachim Low?

Whatever, Gotze, wearing jersey No. 19 (my favorite number) and after catching a pass with his chest, unleashed his mightiest yet left kick, the ball clearly getting past Sergio Romero with 7 minutes left in the game.

God’s will?

I believe so. If Pope Francis, an Argentine, will say otherwise, darn. That’d be the biggest surprise of the World Cup.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 15, 2014.


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