Obama: ‘We’re Not Germany Yet’

Philipp Lahm of Germany is challenged by Clint Dempsey (L) and Alejandro Bedoya of the United States during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group G match between the United States and Germany at Arena Pernambuco on June 26, 2014 in Recife, Brazil.

Photograph by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Philipp Lahm of Germany is challenged by Clint Dempsey (L) and Alejandro Bedoya of the United States during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil group G match between the United States and Germany at Arena Pernambuco on June 26, 2014 in Recife, Brazil.

President Barack Obama, who watched the U.S. soccer team hold its place in the next round of the World Cup today en route from Washington to Minnesota, says the cup is getting in the way of foreign relations.

He said so aboard Air Force One, according to ABC News, whose George Stephanopoulos was along for the ride and interviewed the futbol fan-in-chief.

“We had elements – which I won’t detail – of our foreign policy that have been shaped around the World Cup,” Obama told Stephanopoulos. “Phone calls meetings initiatives we had to think about.”

As Team USA was advancing today to the next round in Brazil, Obama called the last World Cup “a breakthrough moment.”

“The U.S. exceeded expectations,” Obama said. “This year you get a sense it has captured popular imagination.”

The American team had advanced from being a “non-factor” to being a “middle of the pack team,” the president said. ”We’re not Germany yet or Italy or France or Argentina or Brazil,” he said. “But we’re now in the mix.”

ABC will air more of this talk on ”Good Morning America” tomorrow.

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