Sunday, July 13, 2014

Soccer Won - the 2014 World Cup

After Germany beat Argentina in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final today with Germany being crowned the champion of this monthlong competition in which 32 countries competed with their soccer teams, I took a walk.

I needed to process this World Cup, which I think was the best ever in terms of the drama, athleticism, surprises, and outcome. I have written two previous posts on this World Cup.

Seeing Gotze score with an amazing goal for Germany with the result that Germany won 1-0 against Argentina in overtime was quite special. The ball he bounced off his chest and then kicked it into the net.

During my walk I ran into one of my wonderful colleagues at the Isenberg School of Management, Professor Mzamo Mangaliso, with whom I always enjoy conversing. After discussing the game and the outcome he said to me: "Anna, soccer won!"

I thought that was such an astute comment that it inspired me to write my third and final post on this World Cup.

It kept us mesmerized and in suspense for a month. I watched games while in Europe - in Sweden, Italy, and Greece, and then many more upon my return to the US.

What also impressed me today was realizing that the three heads of governments of countries who were so visible today - Germany, Argentina, and Brazil, the wonderfuul host of this World Cup, are all women. Now, isn't that terrific?!

It was great to see Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany,  supporting the German team from the stands in her bright red suit jacket with gold buttons and then congratulating the players and the coach when they received the 18 karat gold trophy and individual gold medals. Also, the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, was present at the award ceremony today, and Brazil deserves congratulations on the success of this World Cup. Finally, the President of Argentina is Cristina Fern├índez de Kirchner and although Argentina did not win, its team captain, Lionel Messi, received the Golden Ball award and others were honored as well.

The fireworks following the final game were magical in Rio.

The World Cup brought the world together for a month and kept us entertained and surprised.

That is the power of sport and of soccer.

Until the next World Cup.