Germany Beats Portugal for Third Place in 2006, Winning Over Fans after Troubled Tournament Start

Before the 2006 World Cup kicked-off, fans of the host nation Germany were less than enamoured with their team.

Poor results, a squad of underperforming stars and a manager who resided in America meant the team were given little hope. Yet once the tournament got underway, the mood began to noticeably shift. An exciting opening win of 4-2 against Costa Rica and then two further victories during the group stage gave the fans reason to believe. Germany began to back their team and the atmosphere surrounding their matches swelled the feeling and passion of the tournament. A great win over Sweden and then a penalties victory over Argentina followed. Germany were in the semi-final, but the fairytale came to an end when they were defeated by eventual winners Italy in the dying minutes of extra-time.

[T]he night belonged to the hosts who deservedly claimed third spot to the delight of the home support and coach Jurgen Klinsmann.