So, yesterday the friendly against Brazil took place. Die Mannschaft was splendid! Such a great performance from basically everyone! Jogi should be happy. I hope he is. It was a very dynamic and interesting game. Lahm pointed out after the match, “The euphoria is justified. In the EURO qualifiers, we have so far seven wins in seven games, and now [we] beat Brazil for the first time in 18 years. That is a great success.”
Lahm had a good game. Perhaps, it was not as wonderful as some might have expected it to be, but it was a good game. I cannot say I was surprised after discovering that he would play on the left. Well, maybe I did go, “Oh… On the left.” But that was to be expected, was it not? It makes sense. I will probably miss his collaboration with Thomas Müller. I think it has worked out wonderfully so far. Whether during the World Cup 2010 or the EURO 2012 qualifiers, it has been a pleasure to watch their duo. Now, I believe Lahm will build up some magic with either Lukas Podolski or Andre Schürrle. Or both, for that matter. Either way, it will take some time to adjust to playing on the left side, so let’s go Fips!
I thought the first half was better in terms of Lahm’s performance than the second. He was moving the game forward, participating in the attacks. Around the 36th+ minute one could catch a glimpse of displeased Lahm. Germany was creating a counter-attack. Podolski passed the ball to Lahm who ran forward with it. Müller and Gomez were in his vicinity. Yet, it was Thomas who ran toward Lahm to get the ball from him, thus helping out. Lahm passed the ball, continued running while awaiting the pass (and screaming something about that?) Thomas attempted to turn and pass the ball back to Lahm but got caught up between three defenders. Now, Gomez simply stood there without moving even the slightest bit toward Thomas in order to help. Lahm was not pleased. There are two possible scenarios. In particular, either he was frustrated in general, and Mario happened to be there. Or, he was displeased with Gomez. I am more inclined to believe the latter. Walking by, Lahm was stared at Gomez and said something twice, while looking not so happy. Those of you who did record the match or have a chance to watch the replay, look at it and let me know what you think. I am not sure that the camera in every country showed that moment, but if it did, it would be very interesting to read what you have to say. I wish I had a .gif image to show it to those of you who have not seen the game. If somebody out there believes Lahm does not get angry, you are terribly wrong. Trust me on that. The camera rarely captures that, or maybe there are not so many opportunities, but when it does happen, it is quite… impressive.
In the second half, Lahm tried to score a goal, and that was unexpected for Brazil’s goalkeeper, Julio Cesar. Too bad it did not become a bad surprise, i.e. Lahm did not score, but it was a good try. And around the 71st+ minute came along a moment that frustrated me, annoyed me, and made me angry at the same time. Lahm figured out one of Brazil’s combinations and attempted to clear the ball. It somewhat worked at first, but the next minute he had to do it again, and… A foul against Dani Alves. As a result, there was a penalty against Germany. Why all the frustration on my part? Because it is Lahm. Lahm is… well, Lahm. (I feel sometimes I forget that he is human, thus my frustration.) Why was I annoyed? Because I was upset, and the commentator kept saying that it was obviously Lahm’s fault. Why was I angry? Here is why: as soon as the referee blew his whistle, Lahm, on his knees, threw his hands up. Schweinsteiger came up to the referee to prove him wrong. Seconds later, the camera showed Lahm explaining something to Alves who was on the ground. I do not know what Lahm was saying, but he was clearly presenting his point of view, appealing to Alves’ reason. And I do not think I have ever seen him like that. I found this picture on http://fashunschweini.tumblr.com
Look at that face! Alves looks rather smuggish. (That is not a word, but you have to bear with me here.) Alves simply shook his head, and my respect for him diminished, as I do not like “divers” in football.
Here are a couple of .gif(s) from http://newbornpony.tumblr.com/post/8750998384:
Therefore, I would like to point out two things:
1. There was a contact with the ball. The referee did not think so, and Alves was not inclined to convince him otherwise. But there was a contact. Lahm did touch the ball first. I am not the only one who thinks so. In fact, if you watch it in the replay, you will see what I mean. Granted, the contact was minimal, but it was there.
2. For anyone, who has ever seen Lahm getting yellow cards or making mistakes during a game and has paid attention, the following should be obvious: Lahm WOULD HAVE NEVER tried to reason in this kind of situation if he had been at fault, knowing it was his mistake. The fact that Lahm was trying to discuss the matter speaks for itself.
Hence, decide for yourself.
That being said, here is a short video of the National Team visiting the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, the city that is famous for Mercedes-Benz. Since the match took place in Stuttgart, the team went to explore new things. In the video, Lahm says that it was interesting for the team to look at and explore engines, and that assisting was a lot of fun.
PS.: Bild.de has graded individual performances (1 – the best, 5 – the worst), and Lahm got a “2” for the match against Brazil. I was pleasantly surprised.