Date: June 12 – July 13
After finishing third in the previous two World Cups (Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010), and runner-up in 2002, Germany finally lifted the trophy, beating Argentina one nil in extra time. This was the third time both National teams met in a final, after Mexico 1986 and Italy 1990.
It was an exciting match, with Mario Götze scoring the only goal (min. 112) following a precise cross from André Schürrle. Schürrle, in my opinion, was the best player on the pitch due to his offensive contribution. The German had two shots stopped by goalkeeper Sergio Romero, and provided the assist that gave his country their fourth world title.
Argentina were the better offensive team, having various chances to score during the game. One by Gonzalo Higuaín (min. 21), rushing and shooting the ball terribly. The other, a shot by Lionel Messi (min. 47) that went very close to goal. The last one, Rodrigo Palacios in overtime, unable to control the ball and sending it wide.
Brazil had a terrible performance in the crucial stages. In the semifinals against Germany, they crumbled, losing seven goals to one. In the Third Place match, Netherlands beat them with ease three nil.
Spain, defending champions, could not qualify to the knockout stages, finishing third of Group B with three points. La Roja lost to the Netherlands and Chile, and won against Australia.
There were no changes in the format. Eight groups of four teams, with the two best reaching the knockout stages (Round of 16, quarter-finals, and semifinals).
Netherlands vs. Argentina: 0 – 0 (penalties: 2 – 4)
Brazil vs. Germany: 1 – 7
Goals: Thomas Müller 10′, Miroslav Klose 22′, Toni Kross 24′ – 25′, Sami Khedira 28′, André Schürrle 68′ – 78′, Oscar 89′
Brazil vs. Netherlands: 0 – 3
Goals: Robin Van Persie 2′ (penalty), Daley Blind 16′, Georginio Wijnaldum 90′
Germany vs. Argentina: 1 – 0
Goal: Mario Götze 112′
|1. James Rodríguez||Colombia||5||6|
|2. Thomas Müller||Germany||7||5|
|3. Lionel Messi||Argentina||7||4|
[Images property of Ficha Deportiva: Panini S.p.A. – Modena Album]