Germany were crowned world champions for the fourth time on Sunday night with a dramatic 1-0 extra time win over Argentina at the Maracana.
Mario Gotze’s brilliant volley in the 114th minute won Joachim Low’s side the World Cup in a game that seemed to be heading towards penalties.
Gotze showed both great skill and composure to chest down a cross from Andre Schurrle before volleying the ball into the back of the net.
Schurrle, who came on as a substitute in the first half, showed great energy to burst down the left wing before providing the telling cross for the Bayern Munich man.
The first 90 minutes was very even with both teams cancelling each other out.
Gonzalo Higuain missed a fantastic chance when a back header from Toni Kroos left him one on one but he failed to even find the target.
Higuain did then find the back of the net as he swept Ezequiel Lavezzi’s cross past Neuer but the offside flag, rightly, went up.
Benedikt Howedes hit the post with a header seconds before half-time when perhaps he should have done better.
Lionel Messi had his chance to impact on the final in the second half but she shot wide as both teams struggled to find the breakthrough.
It was Argentina who perhaps had to best chance to win in late on as Rodrigo Palacio lobbed the ball over Neuer but wide of the goal.
Late on in the game, Germany brought on match-winner Gotze to replace the newly crowned top World Cup goalscorer of all time, Miroslav Klose.
In extra time, Sergio Aguero was lucky not to receive a second yellow, or even a straight red as his flung his arm into the face of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was excellent in the midfield for the Germans.
Then, as penalties were looming Gotze won the game for the Germans much to the delight of Chancellor Angela Merkel who watched on from the stands.
Lionel Messi had a late chance with a free kick but he blazed the ball over the bar, something that summed up his performance.
On Saturday, the Netherlands breezed past a Brazil side who still looked shell-shocked from their semi final battering by the Germans last week.
Goals from Robin van Persie, Daley Blind and Georginio Wijnaldum ensured a 3-0 win for Louis Van Gaal’s men in his final game before he joins Manchester United.
Not even the return of captain Thiago Silva could stop the Brazilian rot.
Brazil boss Phil Scolari has since resigned from his role as Brazil manager with his side conceding 10 goals in just two games following the injury of Neymar.
Following the final, Lionel Messi was given the Golden Ball and named player of the tournament, a decision that has been met with criticism from the likes of Sepp Blatter and Diego Maradona.
James Rodgriguez held on to be top scorer as Thomas Muller failed to net in the final. The Columbian ended with a tally of six goals in just five games, scoring in every game he played.
Manuel Neuer was given the Golden Glove, an award given to the best goalkeeper in the tournament. The German ‘keeper, known for his sweeping ability, had a fantastic tournament as his side lifted the trophy.
The party is over
After a month of football, including 64 fantastic games, the World Cup is over. Mario Gotze’s goal was the tournament’s 171st goal, equaling the record of France 1998.
At times, there was stunning drama and results such as Spain 1-5 Netherlands and Germany 7-1 Brazil will ensure that the tournament will not be remembered for its ugly moment, Suarez’s bite of Giorgio Chiellini.
There were some stunning goals, James Rodriguez vs Uruguay and Tim Cahill vs Netherlands, and intense drama, most notably when the Netherlands brought on Tim Krul for the penalty shoot-out vs the tournaments fairy tale Costa Rica.
Costa Rica stunned the footballing world by beating both Uruguay and Italy before drawing with England to top perhaps the hardest group in the tournament.
The tournament, which was the recipient of both doubt at criticism before a ball was kicked, will go down as one of the most memorable tournament in recent times.Tweet