Germany’s loss in the European U21 Championship is actually everyone’s gain

Germany lost. In a real competition. With a trophy at the end of it.

THIS IS NOT A DRILL.

The Germans already won the World Cup last year. And they’re huge favorites to win the Women’s World Cup, having looked like the clear-cut best team in the tournament through five matches. The country now basically runs the entire sport. We were starting to wonder if they’d take every trophy ever from now to always.

Then Portugal crushed Germany in the UEFA U-21 Championships. It was a 5-0 beat down. Suddenly Germany wasn’t just mortal. Germany was thrashed. Portugal scored three goals in the first half, then added two more in the second half just to make sure Germany knew what it felt like to get its asses kicked.

Thank you, Portugal.

We’d reached the point where we weren’t sure if Germany could actually lose matches and not win tournaments. Men, women, it didn’t matter. Germany won. That’s what it did. But no longer.

Germany are World Cup champions. Good for it.

Germany will probably be Women’s World Cup champions. Also good for it.

But eight years from now, when this age group makes up the core of everyone’s teams, Germany will be mortal. Congratulations, world! You have a chance eventually!*

*Well, the men will. The women may still be searching for a tiny sign of weakness.

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