UPDATED: So there you have it. After 120 minutes and a great goal by Mario Goetze (whose name will now be part of German lore like Gert Muller and Andreas Brehme), Germany are World champions. It’s been a magical month. But it is also basically the last time (till the next World Cup in four years) for journalists and pundits (yes, that’s a real profession now) to trot out cliches for a while about Messi’s “magic” versus the “German machine.” Tomorrow we’ll return to our lives, especially Brazilians who have to pay the bill for FIFA’s untaxed profits and who have to rebuild their football reputation from scratch (start by firing Scolari) and can’t hide their business behind empty slogans of mixing. So now we have a summer of expensive meaningless friendlies between top European club teams featuring their reserves playing in Asia and North America coming up and the English media (and 101 great goals) convincing us all over again of the superiority of the Premier League. Which is a good time to remind ourselves that must people play the game away from advertising boards or without pundits and close-ups. And that’s a good opportunity to posts these images of pickup game, players warming up or practising dribbling skills taken at various sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal by photojournalist and Africa is a Country contributor, Ricci Shryock.
* Football is a Country’s Elliot Ross describes the World Cup Final as Christmas Day for football fans, just better)