Football is a sport of 11 against 11, in which Germany always wins. This famous statement perfectly describes the 2014 World Cup final that took place in Brazil. It’s a world championship with many names, some of which evoke rather negative associations than positive ones.
On 13 July 2014 the new Maracana summoned the powerful and balanced Germany and Lionel Messi’s Argentina. The final ended in extra-time. Argentina was better in both halves, but failed to score. Finally after leaving the dog-out Mario Gotze made a goal on the 113th minute. The match ended turning him into a key person responsible for Germany to have a new star on its coat of arms. It made Germany the first European team that won the World Cup on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
But apart from the final in the Maracana, there were many worthy unforgettable things. They will always be associated with the memories of summer 2014 in Brazil.. An enormous disappointment of Spain after a heavy defeat from the Netherlands in the group stage. The Spaniards didn´t know how to cover up their failure. The team was eliminated what meant a sad final of the generation, which includes Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Villa. It was also the most humiliating World Cup in the history of Brazil, who suffered a 1-7 loss against Germany in the semi-final. It left an eternal mark on the Canarinho. It was the World Cup of Luis Suarez´s aggression towards Chiellini and a consequence to it, a severe sanction for the Uruguayan forward. Also there were pleasant surprises such as Costa Rica with a almost unbeatable Keylor Navas, a breakthrough of James Rodriguez, who got the Golden Boot for six goals, and the birth of a new legend Miroslav Klose. He became as the top scorer in the history of the World Cup.
Mario Gotze embodies a triumph of German superiority to other teams. Despite being cautioned after an awful first half without playing after that in the round of 16 against Algeria, a new German hero appeared. Once it was Rahn in 1954, Muller in 1974 and Brehme in 1990. And it will always be remembered how he took the ball on his chest and fired it past Romero.
Fuleco was the official mascot of the 2014 World Cup. It was an amicable armadillo, nice and very sociable, which supported ecological philosophy as well as environmental protection and sports culture. That’s why his name united the contractions of the first letters of two words: “ful” (from Portuguese “futebol”) and “eco” (from Portuguese “ecologia”).
The worst version of Luis Suarez appeared in the third match of the group stage between Uruguay and Italy. Luis Suarez didn’t doubt attacking Chiellini’s shoulder and striking it with a bite. This moment will be remembered for ages. At that moment the action remained unpunished, but subsequently the Uruguayan was sanctioned by FIFA with nine matches and four months without playing football.
The Golden Boot
Perhaps, it was the biggest sensation of the 2014 World Cup. Colombia was a breath of air and James its best part. For six goals, which were highlighted with a brilliant technique, he was awarded the Golden Boot. It was the first one for their country.
Costa Rica was framed in the Group D together with Italy, Uruguay and England, what made them a “Cinderella” of the group. But it wasn’t like that. The Ticos turned out to be the first in the group. They beat Greece on penalties in the round of 16, but in the quarter-final they got kicked out of the World Cup after losing on the penalty shootout against the Netherlands. Although they they didn’t lose a match.
Gonzalo Higuain got lucky in the 21th minute of the match. Everything was in his favour, because of Kroos´ mistake while passing a ball to Neuer. Higuain was left alone at the edge of the penalty area with the ball bouncing in a good position with even some meters to keep running towards making the goal. Higuain finished it with a bad miss. So it was impossible to finish it worse.
The Golden Ball of Messi. Reading it for the first time, it may sound striking or even bizarre, because the words the European Golden Boot and Messi sound incompatible. The 2014 World Cup will go down in history like the World Cup when theoretically Messi could have been the best player at the championship, but in fact he wasn’t. The Flea was ordinary. But he was neither significant for his team nor able to show a brilliant version of the player, who used to amaze the world. Muller (the Silver Boot), Robben (the Bronze Boot), Kroos, James or even Mascherano seemed to have done more than Messi.
“Come out and show that you are better than Messi”, that was Joachim Low’s magical recipe to change the match. He addressed these words to Mario Gotze when he was sent onto the pitch on the 88th minute replacing Miroslav Klose. 25 minutes later he scored a goal which proclaimed Germany the world champions for the fourth time.