The World Cup, like the Olympics, exemplifies the triumph of sportsmanship over conflict as a variable of the human condition. Unlike reversals in international politics, which can be contested hotly and lead even to war, the upsets at the ongoing Cup have been accepted with good grace by the losers. South Korea's win over Germany drew gasps of global disbelief but did not drive a wedge between soccer's East and West. Instead, it reiterated the nature of the global sport of football, where every competition levels the playing field anew for underdogs to undermine the sway of traditional stars, if they can.
In defeat, the stars of yesteryear who bowed out of the competition opened the path for rejuvenation, allowing a new and talented younger generation to dazzle and thrill audiences on the sport's biggest stage - and for some years to come too.