The world has a new champion! Germany has won the 2014 World Cup defeating Argentina with the inly final goal in extra-time at Estadio do Maracana in Rio De Janeiro on Sunday night.
It is the fourth World Cup title for Germany, with victories in 1954, 1974 and 1990 as West Germany, before the country united 24 years ago. The final match also marksÂ the first time when a European country had won the sport’s greatest prize in the Americas, although this World Cup was ultimately a triumph for all.
â€śWe’re going to celebrate for at least five weeks now,â€ť said Germany’s Manuel Neuer, who was awarded the tournament’s Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper.
â€śAt some point we’ll stop celebrating but we’ll always keep waking up with a smile. We did it and it’s unbelievable. In the preparation we had some setbacks. We have to think of the guys not here. They are world champions now too.â€ť
The final match went to extra time when both teams were even at 0-0 after 90 minutes. Argentina had many opportunities for a goal, but failed to challenge the opponentâ€™s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer throughout the 120 minutes of regulation and extra time, unlike Germany, which dominated the field 60%.
In first period of extra time, it was Higuain’s replacement, Rodrigo Palacio, who missed what may have been Argentina’s last best chance to score against Germany.
â€śThis was our chance, and we felt that way. We couldn’t do it. We have to lift our heads and suffer the pain,â€ť Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said. â€śObviously, the pain is tremendous.â€ť
Germanyâ€™s 22-year-old Mario Goetze had a real moment of glory when he went on as a substitute for Miroslav Klose near the end of regulation time and scored for his team in the 113th minute. Messi, on whom so many of Argentina’s tournament hopes rested, then had the chance to fire in a free-kick deep into added time of extra time’s second half, but shot over the bar as Germany prepared to celebrate.
â€śIt’s an unbelievable feeling,” Gotze said after the win. â€śI don’t know how to describe it. You just shoot that goal and you don’t really know what’s happening. Then at the very end of the match, it’s undescribable, having a party with the team, with the whole country. A dream became reality. It is for us, really a dream come true. And I’m more than happy and very proud of the team and of what happened here in Brazil.â€ť
For Germany, the win ends a string of near misses since winning its last major title at the 1996 European Championship. The team lost the 2002 World Cup final to Brazil and lost in the semifinals in both 2006 and 2010.
The two countries have a long and emotional World Cup rivalry involving some of the best players to grace the game. World Cup final 2014 was the third between the teams, something no other two nations have accomplished. Their first meeting in 1986 led to the victory of Argentina, and then four years later West Germany got even.