Torsten Frings: Germany vs. Costa Rica (FIFA World Cup 2006)
The 2006 World Cup finals was the second time in 32 years Germany had hosted the World Cup. Could they repeat the heroics of ‘74 and win the trophy for a second time on their own turf? (They won it at Italia ’90 but that’s a different story).
Germany went into the tournament with high aspirations, there may have been some rumoured unrest in the camp but no players were showing any signs of discord. The team had a home advantage, which they could use to full effect at times when the most needed it. Anticipation grew and more supporters believed that Jürgen Klinsmann’s side could be set to win the World Cup for a third time. Maybe, just maybe.
The match was a perfect way to kick-start the tournament, the hosts playing in front of 66,000 fans at the Allianz Arena against American’s Costa Rica in their third World Cup. The away team surprised the German’s with two goals and threatened in spells throughout the match. Previously in the first half, right back Philip Lahm had curled in a spectacular effort from the edge of the box. Scoring a goal that no keeper in the world could have saved. A perfect start to what should be an exciting tournament.
Anything you can do I can do better was Torsten Frings’ answer to Lahm’s early strike. The game had settled down at 3-2 and looked to stay that way, until the Germans were awarded a free kick in a reasonable crossing distance for a player to head into the back of the net. Bastian Schweinsteiger however, had other ideas. Centre midfielder Torsten Frings was unmarked and received the ball from the 21-year-old winger, without even taking a touch, the midfielder sends a rocket flying into the top corner. This sixth goal of the game bettered Lahm’s first half strike and already staked its claim for ‘goal of the tournament’, one game in.
Torsten Fings had brought Munich to its feet in its entirety, this goal was a benchmark for the rest of the tournament with even better goals to follow however this one stays with me the most. The sheer power and precision of the shot left my 9-year-old self in shock. What a hit.