Barack Obama watches United States' World Cup defeat to Germany aboard Air Force One at 40,000 feet
United States President admits the US have 'exceeded expectations' and has congratulated them on their progress to the second round
The United States may have lost their final Group G match to Germany, but their most high profile fan was full of praise for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side as President Barack Obama hailed their achievement of reaching the second knockout round of the World Cup.
Ever on the move, Obama utilised those options only available to the President of the United States as he watched Thursday night’s defeat from about 40,000-feet aboard Air Force One.
During the match, Obama’s aides allowed photographers into the President’s conference room to take snaps of him cheering on Team USA, complete with a bowl of chips on the table as well as other snacks.
Speaking after the match, a jubilant Obama praised the work done by Klinsmann’s side so far in Brazil.
He told American TV broadcaster ABC: “We had elements — which I won’t detail — of our foreign policy that have been shaped around the World Cup. Phone calls, meetings, initiatives we had to think about.”
“The U.S. exceeded expectations,” Obama added. “This year you get a sense it has captured popular imagination.”
The President went on to suggest that while the US were not yet in the same level as the likes of Brazil, Argentina and the Netherlands, they had proven enough to mean they will be in the mix for the latter stages of the World Cup.
“We’re not Germany yet or Italy or France or Argentina or Brazil,” he said. “But we’re now in the mix.”
Obama gives his view on the 'soccer' craze sweeping the nation Sitting alongside senior advisors Valeria Jarrett and Dan Pfeiffer, Obama appeared to discuss the goings on in Recife, but he unfortunately missed the final whistle as the flight touched down in Minneapolis beforehand.
Thomas Muller scored his fourth goal of the tournament to clinch both the win and top spot in Group G, but the 1-0 defeat was still enough to see the Americans through to the last-16 as Portugal were only able to record a 2-1 win over Ghana, meaning Klinsmann’s side secured the runners-up spot.
Obama watching the World Cup alongside Senior Advisors Valerie Jarrett (L) and Daniel Pfeiffer (out of shot) They will face Belgium on Tuesday for a place in the quarter-finals, and while the European side have been mentioned as the ‘dark horses’ of the World Cup, many are refusing to rule out the United States following their impressive showing in the group stages.
“Obviously it's a huge achievement by our team to come through that group and qualify for the knockout stage,” raved United States coach Klinsmann.
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