A work colleague and Italy fan was watching this video nearby, and besides the fact it an incredible moment with Fabio Grosso and Alessandro Del Piero scoring in the last two minutes of extra time (game wiki here), I was struck by how things have changed since 2006, particularly for Germany.
Jens Lehmann in goal. Michael Ballack in midfield. There are some major continuities between now and then—leftback Phillip Lahm, Klose and Podolski up front. Interesting, Germany were in a 4-4-2. Arne Friedrich, now with the Chicago Fire, was in right back. Tim Borowski, now and then of Werder Bremen, played left midfield. Sebastien Kehl, still an impressive player and Dortmund captain, playing defensive midfield.
Compare these players however with the current roster: Mario Goetze, Mesut Oezil, Marco Reus, Mats Hummels, Holger Badstuber. This is like comparing your 2004 Dell to a Mac Book pro, to use the nerdiest analogy in Footy Blog history.
As for the Italy, perhaps it’s the glaze of history that’s rested on the 2006 World Cup winners, but for a few exceptions (Luca Toni, Fabio Grosso) the difference in career trajectories from their German counterparts is significant. Andrea Pirlo looks exactly the same, although in a more forward role, which is understandable.