Maradona, an over-the-hill gunfighter: German papers

Maradona, an over-the-hill gunfighter: German papers

Saturday's win over Maradona's Argentina in Cape Town came less than a week after Joachim Loew's Germany team had equally clinically ended England's hopes 4-1 in the second round.  The latest resounding victory sent the normally hypercritical German media -- and its public -- into raptures on Sunday.

"Thanks, you heroes!" wrote Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "Unbelievable! Germany beats Argentina 4-0. Four to Zero!"  Bild am Sonntag's normally difficult-to-please columnist Guenter Netzer, the former international, could hardly contain himself.

"It was more than a victory, it was a demonstration of 'Uebermacht' (superiority)," wrote Netzer, now a popular TV pundit. "It was one of the best performances from a Germany team that I've ever seen."

Netzer admitted he was wrong with his earlier public doubts about Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski. "I never would have thought they would have played such a strong World Cup."

Former Germany coach Juergen Klinsmann, who led the team to third place in 2006 and is now a TV analyst, was also full of praise for the team and his successor, Joachim Loew. 

"The team seems to have a lot of fun and that's the base for attractive football -- and Jogi (Loew) is doing an awesome job," Klinsmann said.  Millions of fans have packed public viewing venues and were given credit by Loew for helping motivate the team. More than 350,000 watched on giant screens set up in central Berlin.

Dropping their normal reluctance towards flag waving, German fans have wrapped themselves in their black, red and gold flags and celebrated with an unprecedented level of patriotism. "Deutschland einig Zauberland" (Germany united Magic Land) wrote the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

"The 4-0 win over Argentina wasn't only due to Germany's dominance on the pitch but also due to Loew's superior tactics," wrote the newspaper's columnist Thomas Hummel.