🇩🇪 Wheels & Automobiles - Die Mannschaft at Italia '90.
Italia ’90. German engineering at it’s finest. A real bobby dazzler.
“Germans talk nowadays about the summer fairy tale of 2006, but this was my summer fairy tale. And it had a happy ending too.”
Ah, Italia ’90. A tournament remembered not so much for its goals but by its moments. A tournament defined by the efficiency of Die Mannschaft. The likes of Matthäus, Brehme, Klinsmann and Völler picked their opponents apart one by one with precision and conviction. Typically German.
The Germans didn’t claim all of the headlines though. Roger Milla danced with the corner flag, Cameroon assaulted the Argentines, Frank Rijkaard’s saliva somersaulted towards Rudi Voller’s barnet and of course, who could forget Gazza’s yellow, Gazza’s heartbreak, Gazza’s tears..
Italia ’90 was one of the dirtiest tournaments in history, averaging 3.46 cards per match. There were 16 red cards and 164 bookings. The refs certainly had their work cut out for them. Argentina became the first finalists not to score and also the first to have a player sent off as both Monzón and Gustavo Dezotti were dismissed.
However, Italia ’90 is perhaps best known for its ruthless victors, West Germany. Die Mannschaft claimed their third World Cup title, in a tournament that saw the lowest average goals-per-game ratio in World Cup tournament history. The Germans cruised through the group stage and went on to claim victories over the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia and England. The final wasn’t exactly spectacle to behold but did see the Germans take revenge on their Argentine opponents, having lost the final to them four years previously.
Franz Beckenbauer (Der Kaiser) became only the second person to win the World Cup as both a player and coach. Andreas Brehme, the man who scored the title-clinching goal for West Germany, remains the only player to have scored penalties with both feet in the World Cup. The German keeper, Bodo Ilgner, became the first goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in a World Cup final. Even the stats are typically German.
We can’t talk about Germany at Italia ’90 without mentioning their kit. Perhaps the most iconic football shirt of all time, the trikot jersey was longed for by every school kid in the Summer of 1990. There’s just something about the simplicity and tenacity of that kit design that personified the style of play the Germans brought to the tournament. An honourable mention for their classy green away shirt must also be noted.
In summary, West Germany at Italia ’90 worked as one, like a well oiled machine. Performances that completely characterised the words ‘German’ and ‘efficiency’. It was a World Cup won and lost in the moments that mattered. And when it matters the most, you can always rely on the Germans.
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