Extra helping of Nutella pre-match...
Also, as reported by Hendo last night: How Bayern Munich Won the World Cup (deadspin)
They had such a deep catalog to choose from, because they weren't pulling from just one source. Many of these players also feature on club superpower Bayern Munich, widely considered the world's best, best-coached club team. Managed by ex-Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, Bayern won the German double last year, and were favorites to win the Champions League until they were shocked in the tournament semifinal by Real Madrid.
Bayern's core also made up Germany's. Bayern are so dangerous because of their ruthless execution, and so it followed that when the Germans won a free kick, they'd probably be devastating as well. They were.
While other nations are at the mercy of the club calendar, able to practice and prepare as a unit only during international breaks, many of these Germans are working on set pieces all year round. As a result, they had more set plays than any other team, and performed them better.
No one wants to read that, but it's in line with what we're seeing in international soccer these days. It's no coincidence that Barcelona's reign as the world's best team between 2008 and 2013 coincided directly with Spain's rise and fall as the world's best nation, which it turns out ended with a 3-0 defeat to Brazil in last year's Confederations Cup— the same year that Barcelona were thumped 7-0 over two Champions League legs to FC Bayern.
Bayern are ridiculous. This surprisingly young German side have turned their domestic league into a joke, a one-horse race every year where they compete to see not whether they can win the title, but how quickly. Last year, they won the German Bundesliga by 19 points, with a goal differential of 71 and only two losses all year.
The best soccer in the world is played in Munich, and so it would follow that the Bayern-heavy side could take on the world's best, and emerge relatively unscathed. Even though they were pushed to extra time against Algeria and Argentina in the knockout rounds, they never had to endure the coin flip of penalty kicks, and they dominated every team they played. Next year, Bayern will be favorites to win the treble, as they did in 2013. In 2016, the German national team will compete for the honor of the best team in Europe. Let's just place our bets now.