THE German celebrations were echoed in a small primary school in Rochford, with the youngsters of Holt Farm Junior School triumphing in the Echo World Cup predictions competition.
Scott, Holly-Ann, Brooke, Connor, Liam, Millie, Holly, Jacob, William, Samuel lifted the trophy in front of their peers, having tied at the top of the leaderboard with Rayleigh Primary School and they said they knew Germany would win the cup.
Samuel: They were the best team, they have such quality in their side.
Connor: Please tell me no-one predicted a 7-1 score in the semi-final?!
William: It was a great tournament and plenty of teams showed they had surprises to offer.
EchoSport Reporter Luke: Did you enjoy the tournament? What were your highlights?
William: Brazil losing in the semi-final was amazing. They were completely destroyed! There was so much pressure from the public that they were always destined to struggle.
Millie and Holly: As soon as Neymar was injured that was it for them. They relied too heavily on him and Thiago Silva.
Scott: I really enjoyed watching Costa Rica! How good were they?! I thought they would come bottom of the group but they had little expectation on their shoulders and deserved their success.
Holt Farm predicted Group B before the tournament began, which included Spain, the Netherlands, Chile and Australia. The children fancied Chile and Spain before the tournament although it was the Netherlands that finished third overall.
Holly-Ann and Brooke: They were great although they only really have a few good players. Spain couldn’t win again, people know the way they play now.
Liam used to live in Holland and was rooting for the Oranje: I wanted Holland to win but they couldn’t do it. They will be back!
EchoSport Luke: And what about England?
Scott: They were awful. They didn’t get the mixture of youth and experience right. We play football the wrong way in this country. In Brazil they play because they love the game but over here it is not seen that way.
Samuel: Argentina were the team I was interested in. (Lionel) Messi probably has one world cup left in him and he needs to win to get the same respect in his country as Maradona. Messi has never played in his homeland and probably has more respect in Spain than in Argentina.
The youngsters were excited stars such as Alexis Sanchez and Diego Costa will be plying their trade in England next year but didn’t hold out much hope for the World Cup in 2022, in Qatar.
Connor: The sandstorms will be a huge problem. Plus if they have one or two cooling breaks in Brazil they will be every few minutes there!
Millie: The players will have to wear goggles.
Liam: Will the stadiums be able to cope with it? They will be full of sand!
Questions over Qatar will continue over the coming years but the group was sure this World Cup would be one that would live forever in the memory.
Rayleigh finished joint top
THE WORLD Cup in Brazil conjured up some unexpected score-lines but not for Rayleigh Primary School.
Their group of pupils unbelievably chose 11 correct outcomes and two spot on score-lines, meaning that just two of their 15 predictions were incorrect.
And they were delighted to come out on top and pick up the Echo’s trophy just before starting their own sports day.
How does it feel to have won?
“It’s brilliant. It’s really good for the school to win something. We knew we were doing well, especially with Group E games, but to have won is brilliant and the trophy is great. It looks just like the World Cup.”
Sonny was particularly excited about winning adding: “I feel just like Mario Gotze must have done when he scored the winning goal against Argentina.”
Who did you think was the best player at the World Cup.
“James Rodríguez for Colombia. He was excellent and scored what most of us think was the best goal when he scored against Uruguay.”
Other members of the group are not so sure about the best goal of the competition though with Tim Cahill’s volley for Australia against the Netherlands also getting some mentions, along with Robin Van Persie’s header against Spain right at the start of the tournament.
Gotze’s winning goal for Germany in the final against Argentina was also popular among the group with couple of them declaring themselves as “Team Gotze.”
Did Germany deserve to win it?
“Yes. They were the best team and we were all shocked when they beat Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals. I don’t think anyone would have predicted that, we didn’t any way!”
And what did you all make of England?
“We were terrible but it wasn’t really much of a surprise.”