Germany for making me proud. For making me realize how much I love you as a team. For making me cry.
You may not have made it to the Finals but I think this will make you even stronger and wiser (just like WC 2010).
Dang, you know how devastated I am with their loss? I think a part of me died. Let me tell you a story, I became a football fan a few days after Spain won the WC. Until a few months ago, I was a La Roja supporter. Then my continuing love for Mesut made me realize that I will support any team he is in. That prompted me to watch Germany's WC 2010 matches (I think that was a year ago) and truth be told, I was not that interested in them (only Ozil and Neuer caught my attention). I wonder then how will I ever warm up to this team?
Then came Euro 2012. Even if I only knew a few of the members, I was determined to support Die Mannschaft. As I search for German NT related stuff, I got to learn about the team and the members became somewhat familiar to me.
One thing I realize, Euro 2012 is the first big tournament where I felt that I was really a football fan. Meaning that I got to watch the games live and root for my team, the same way as the world does. Remember, I got into football after the WC games so I did not experience the thrill of it as it happens.
Germany was heavily favored as the winners. Even I thought that they will advance to the finals and face Spain. I was even contemplating on making a blog post about my Germany-Spain prediction. I was about to write that even if Germany's predicted to win, I think Spain still has the chance to beat them. Why? I dunno, experience perhaps? And also I remember watching their SF match during WC 2010 and I was surprised at how passive Germany seemed against Spain (I was not into Germany or Mesut that time). Sometimes, I felt that Germany is still lacking something (I can't pinpoint what that is).
And as we know the Germans lost to the Italians. Watching it unfold right before my eyes made me realize how much I have invested in this team. My heart was broken. My eyes were red and sleep evaded me.
I can't stomach seeing them so down. Especially Ozil.
My love for this man knows no bounds. He was one of the most affected by their loss. I wish he would not blame himself. He did great in this tournament. He was awarded twice with the MOM award and he scored that Penalty kick (which he deserved).
Another one who broke my heart was seeing Muller like the photo above. I wish Low made him start (it might've changed the game). For some reason, witnessing Mesut and Thomas looking so forlorn brings me back to their WC fate (it's as if these two bear the weight of Germany's loss the most). I know they wanted to do better than 2010 but sadly, it didn't happen.
Another guy who made my heart cry was Manuel Neuer. Man, even if their winning chance is already impossible, he never gave up. He went out of his box and charged down through Italy's field like a general in a war. It broke my heart and it made me love him more. Manu is such a great player. Even after the final whistle blew, he never showed weakness to his teammates, on the contrary, he was all over the place comforting them. It pains me that just when the whole team was running through the field like their lives depended on it, the referee blew the whistle. Can't he like wait until they made their final attempt?
Still, after all that has happened, we lost. There are no excuses for it. We were defeated last night and we should make that an experience worth remembering. Let it be the fuel for us to make history in the next tournaments (WC 2014, Euro 2016). We are a young team and as the years go by, our youngsters will accumulate experiences which will make them stronger. I am looking forward to seeing this squad a few years from now. They will surely be back with a vengeance ;)
p.s. I'm thinking how my love for Die Mannschaft is nearing what I have for Real Madrid. :P
double p.s. I do not own the pictures used, I got it from tumblr.