Not particularly positive messages to take from one of the best international tournaments that I can recall. Although the tournament had those aspects, it was also the stage for new stars to shine, James Rodriguez in particular, doing his reputation no harm. It was the moment when a decade and a half long project finally achieved its target, with Germany lifting an international trophy. It was the moment when Miroslav Klose became the greatest ever World Cup goalscorer. And it was also perhaps the moment when US Soccer fans finally fell in love with the game.
There is much talk in football about the 12th man. Whether that is the fans singing their hearts out on the Kop, the referee who appears to be giving everything to the opposition, or a rogue beach ball that has bounced on to the pitch and has yet to be removed. It is said, this 12th man gives you the advantage, but it is a strange term to use when the teams are not even utilising the 11 that they have on the pitch.