The football world has a “worthy” winner, the Tages-Anzeiger writes in front page analysis on Monday, lauding the German team as a “golden generation” in a view widely felt across the Swiss newspapers.
Looking back at Germany's football World Cup win over Argentina on Sunday in Rio, the paper continues that it was a “triumph of boldness over caution”.
Lionel Messi’s team, the paper writes, put in their best performance of the tournament on Sunday, standing up to Germany. However the now world champions had worked hard for this high point over the years leading up to the tournament. Misgivings about the German coach, Joachim Löw, were frequently heard, but now those critical voices “have been silenced”.
The pressure on the team was substantial, but with his “fine technique” and winning goal in extra time, Mario Götze became “a symbol for German football”.
Blick celebrates “Super-Mario” on their front page, writing, “Germany is the logical new world champion”. In terms of their game, they were “as good as never before. They were a team, close, solidly united, with a clear goal.”
The paper adds “the title is also a triumph for Bayern Munich”. Six players from Germany’s top ‘Bundesliga’ side were in the starting lineup for the national squad.
Lines in the ground
The Tages-Anzeiger dedicates another page to 13 photos from the tournament, memorable moments “aside from the final”. One of them is labelled “the circus” and shows the much-criticised Japanese referee, Nishimura, who gave a contentious penalty to Brazil during their opening match against Croatia.
New in this World Cup was the can of foam carried by match officials to spray lines on the ground for free kicks. Something that was not new in the tournament, the newspaper writes, was the referees making “match-determining mistakes, because they were not allowed to see what the rest of the world saw in super slow motion”.
A photo of Cristiano Ronaldo with his hands on his hips, staring down at the ground is paired with the question, “What did he really do in Brazil?”. He bowed out of the World Cup with Portugal in a way that was not fitting for a player of his class, the paper says.
It goes on to list his unimpressive record from the tournament and somewhat sarcastically points out how he took “a nice holiday soon after the group stage”. Ronaldo had posted photos from his holiday on social media, showing him in a mud pack and wearing a dressing gown on the beach.
In the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, seven of its journalists write down their final words to “unforgettable” World Cup participants. One such short letter to Sepp Blatter, the head of football’s governing body FIFA, starts off by thanking him for holding the World Cup in such a beautiful country.
The tongue-in-cheek short piece goes on to thank him for the “convenient” game plan, that meant this journalist’s “beach holiday” did not have too many interruptions for work purposes.
Suffering and emotion
Another short note, which this time starts off “dear Neymar”, describes how the journalist hated the Brazilian star player at first, with his “laughable haircuts and gold jewellery”. It describes the envy the writer felt when he heard how much the footballer earns. He then goes on to say that he saw how the team counted on the player, and how Neymar battled on, suffered and cried, and then dealt with the press after Brazil dramatically dropped out of the tournament.
Neymar injured his spine and was taken off the pitch on a stretcher in the quarterfinals. “You are a world champion of hearts…get well soon,” the letter ends, the journalist having done a full about-turn in his opinion of the player.
In French-language paper 24 Heures a photo takes up half the front page, and two and a half more pages inside are dedicated to the final. “Germany is world champion because it wanted it and tried harder,” reads the headline.
The paper focuses on Germany’s decisive scorer Götze and coach Löw. “Mario Götze, the other small prince invited himself to the party”, he writes describing the 22-year-old striker who eclipsed the 1.69 metres of Argentina’s star Lionel Messi.
It ends with praise for German coach Löw saying he did not give up after Germany’s disappointing performance in South Africa four years ago. “He could have thrown in the towel. But no, he persisted and knew how to adapt without betraying his own ideas about an attractive game. And at the Maracana stadium he was vindicated. And how!”
In an editorial, the writer depicts the “high price for emotions in Brazil”, finding that Germany deserved to win the title.
The World Cup confirmed three footballing truths. It was a victory for a real team, it showed the importance of a coach capable of imposing his ideas on his team and giving it an identity, 24 Heures says.
And that the best players controlled their emotions on and off the pitch.
But putting analysis of the game aside: “Brazil successfully staged a wonderful World Cup despite the failure of their team. Excellent organisation, beautiful stadiums and a nice crowd.”
The writer warns that such an event could have become a “cold-hearted monster”, considering the millions invested and the police presence needed. “Thank God the pitch remains the place for big emotions. Even if it is a high price to pay.”