Before the recent historical win by Germany in the World Cup Championship and the riotous parties in the streets, there were other strong magnets to Berlin by young outsiders. A new generation of international women have been flocking to Berlin for its green, woman-centric, and family friendly culture.
For the nations of Europe, the legacy of appeasing Russian behaviour makes a vigorous response to the current crisis absolutely vital. While there may be economic risk inherent in imposing sweeping sanctions, a broad package of 'level three' measures, targeting vulnerable sectors of the Russian economy, is essential.
"England can do everything Germany have done". Yet to do this they would need to actually look beyond obvious clichés and address uncomfortable truths. Where are the Lahm and Gomez in the England team to speak out on sexuality? Who is England's "most intelligent player"? It's not immediately obvious.
It speaks volumes about Lionel Messi's talents that the World Cup he has just enjoyed could still be considered such a catastrophic failure in so many quarters... Fans cried out that there were plenty of others more deserving of the gong... but Messi has to contend with the expectations his performances over the years have built up.
It will be interesting to see how the next World Cup kicking off in Moscow in 2018 impacts global views of the Kremlin. For while the media spotlight has shone on an already-vibrant Brazil today, unless the four year hiatus is used to full benefit, it may reflect very differently on Russia tomorrow.
The five things you need to know on Monday 14 July 2014... ** GERMANY ARE THE WORLD CUP CHAMPIONS! ** 1) IT'S RESHUFFLE MONDAY Dave is gettin...