Italy Ends Germany's Hopes, Again

The German National Football Team (Die Mannschaft), for inexplicable reasons, forgot to show up for a Euro 2012 Championship semi-final match against a spirited Italian side Thursday night in Warsaw, Poland. Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski continued a very unsettling trend of being MIA in big matches for both club and country. Joachim Löw, who basically signed Germany's 'death certificate' by reinstating the ineffective Gomez and Podolski and also Bayern's Toni Kroos into the starting line-up ahead of the more energetic and efficient Andre Schürrle, Marco Reus and Miroslav Klose, who had recently run circles around a very game Greek side. Jogi (Löw) had exposed himself to some extremely acute and accurate second-guessing. By replacing Gomez and Podolski at half-time, Löw in essence admitted his mistakes; he had over-coached the German side by replacing the hot-hands with what is on paper (and in the German media), the better players. But let's give full credit to the Italians who deserved their victory on the back of 'Super Mario' Balotelli's brace. They have already held fellow finalists and holders Spain to a 1-1 draw in their opening game of Euro 2012 and are on the cusp of a truly unexpected second European Championship, which they last won all the way back in 1968. Germany must console themselves with the hope that perhaps they are still on the upside and still amongst the contenders to win the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.

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