Germany and Spain had a fight in World Cup that was incredibly well-matched on paper. While one team dominated everything related to passing and possession, the other dominated the attack.
While one fouled a lot, the other was offside a lot. At the end of the day, they went home sharing the points too, scoring a goal each.
One thing that was not equal, however, was the amount of muscle between Leon Goretzka and Sergio Busquets.
The two CDMs went head to head multiple times, and Goretzka made quite a show of his incredible physique against the rather lean Spaniard.
It was visible quite clearly in one of the instances. Busquets, who was pursuing Rudiger from a set-piece, was obstructed by the Bayern Munich midfielder.
Of course, by obstructing him, we mean that he stood in front of him like a solid brick wall into which Busquets carelessly marched.
This is what basketball fans would call a ‘screen’ and is often seen in the popular tactic of a pick-and-roll.
In the play, a player from the attacking team, here Goretzka, remains motionless and acts as an obstruction as the ball carrier, here Rudiger, sprints alongside him, preventing the defense from following his man.
If Goretzka then went ahead to receive the ball again from Rudiger, it would be called a pick-and-roll.
This play is something that basketball player Steven Adams has made incredibly famous, as countless clips have emerged of him putting giant basketball players to sleep by just standing straight.
Here is a video showing how he has perfected the art of the screen.
Fans did not miss this Goretzka and Adams similarity either.
Goretzka might not be as tall as the Kiwi, who stands at 2.11 metres, but he sure is strong himself.
The German’s physique has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis as a result of his recent increase in muscular mass.
Roman Neustadter, a former teammate at Schalke, thinks Goretzka has achieved the ideal mix between muscular and lean.
He said, “After I’ve seen his development, I wrote to him directly to send me the exercises he was doing! Even at Schalke, we saw that he has the physical abilities to build muscle mass without harming his game.”
Goretzka appears to be following in the footprints of Thomas Muller, his more experienced teammate at Bayern Munich and Germany.
Muller decked Jordi Alba in a similar fashion in 2013 and was quite fortunate to get away with it. There seems to be a fierce physical rivalry developing between the Germans and the Spaniards, and we are here for it.
It must be noted that this was not the only contribution that Leon made to the game.
Not only did he have a brilliant overall game, but also an incredibly important tackle that may have decided the result of the game.
Despite this incredibly funny screen, his tackle also went viral, and that is a testament to its importance.
Spain took the lead courtesy of Alvaro Morata, while Germany earned a crucial point due to substitute attacker Niclas Fullkrug. Earlier in the day, Costa Rica defeated Japan.
This result means Hansi Flick’s team must defeat Costa Rica on Thursday and hope Spain defeats Japan in order to ensure their advancement.
Goretzka would need to pull a couple of tricks out of his sleeve again to make sure they can beat the South Americans.
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