Football: Argentina dish out friendly revenge on Germany
They're World Cup champions.
And there is nothing wrong with savouring Germany's fourth trophy, as far as coach Joachim Loew is concerned.
But it's now time for the party to start winding down.
Loew was surprisingly unperturbed after his team’s woeful performance in a 4-2 home defeat to Argentina in a rematch of the World Cup final.
He even found positive things to say about the young and inexperienced team he fielded, who trailed 4-0 early in the second half.
Argentina's defender Sergio Aguero (L) and Germany's midfielder Christoph Kramer.
The game started well for Argentina. Manchester United’s record British signing Angel Di Maria scored once and made goals for team-mates Sergio Aguero, Erik Lamela and Federico Fernandez.
Andre Schuerrle and Mario Goetze replied. Still, Germany were brought crashing down to earth by a ruthless display, in what was Gerardo Martino’s first match in charge of the South Americans.
Martino, who filled the vacuum left when Alejandro Sabella declined the offer of a new contract after the World Cup, said the victory should not be over-hyped.
“They were missing a lot of players and also had three players who retired,” said Martino, who left the Barcelona job after just one season at the end of the last campaign as they ended without a trophy.
“That’s not easy to try to find a new team. Di Maria was more prominent than he was in the World Cup.”
Andre Schuerrle vies for the ball during the friendly match.
After a final celebration in Duesseldorf on Wednesday - where the recently retired Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose and Per Mertesacker received gifts before an appreciative crowd - Loew said it was time to rev up for the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
“It’s nice to come together one last time to say farewell to all the players who are not with us anymore,” Loew said
“It wasn’t really possible to do that after the World Cup in Berlin. But after tonight’s gathering that is going to be the end of the World Cup (celebrations).”
Flush from their July victory, Germany players flew directly to Berlin from Brazil to celebrate with hundreds of thousands of fans at the Brandenburg Gate. But the celebrations got slightly out of hand when some of the squad mocked the beaten Argentina players.
The incident caused a major stir in the German media.
Tthere was speculation the chants might give Argentina’s players extra motivation to exact revenge on the pitch.
Sebastian Rudy, Lukas Podolski, Matthias Ginter, Thomas Mueller and Kevin Grosskreutz (L-R) react after losing their friendly.
Angel Di Maria celebrates after scoring. Photos: Reuters, AFP
But Argentina coach Gerardo Martino said he did not think that controversy had played any role in Wednesday’s result.
“No,” Martino said. “I wouldn’t put so much emphasis on that. Every country has its own particular style of celebrating.”
Sources: Reuters, AFP