Die Mannschaft’s ascendance is complete.
Germany won the World Cup on Sunday, defeating Argentina 1-0 after extra time in the final at Brazil’s storied Maracana stadium.
Mario Götze became an instant legend in the 112th minute, when he brilliantly cradled a cross from super sub André Schürrle and fired into the far corner past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero for the Cup-winning goal.
Do you even have to ask?
Man of the match
Mario Götze. He’ll never have to buy dinner or drinks in Germany again. A brilliant goal worthy of winning the World Cup.
- Germany won its fourth World Cup, and first in 24 years, tying Italy for second most in history
- Germany is the first European team to win a World Cup in North or South America
- A side from UEFA has won the last three World Cups, a record (Germany, Spain, Italy)
- With 171 goals, the 2014 tournament tied the record for most goals at a World Cup, with France 1998
- Argentina became the first nation to be eliminated by the same opponent in three straight World Cups
- Argentina conceded its first-ever goal in extra time at a World Cup
- Eight matches went into extra time at the 2014 World Cup, tying a record set in 1990
It was a good day for…
Teamwork. Germany won its fourth World Cup by displaying a team unity that was above and beyond anyone else in the tournament. Each man knew his role, and the Germans moved as a unit with clockwork-like precision.
It was a bad day for…
Shouldering the burden of a nation. Despite the constant tight marking from the Germans, Lionel Messi had two glorious chances to make his mark on the match, one in the second half, and one at the absolute death. He couldn’t take either. He may wonder about them for a long, long time.
They said it
"It's incredible. The team did it beautifully," said German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. "At some point we'll stop celebrating but we'll still wake up with a smile."
"This was our chance, and we felt that way. We couldn't do it. We have to lift our head and suffer the pain," Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said. "Obviously, the pain is tremendous. We wanted the cup for Argentina."
What this means
A 10-year journey has paid off for the Germans. An embarrassing exit in the group stage of Euro 2000 pushed the nation to completely revamp its domestic football development, and the end result has been wave after wave of elite footballers.
It also means we may be seeing the dawn of a new dynasty of world football. Germany had 14(!) players under 25 on its roster in Brazil. Die Mannschaft will easily be contenders in Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. With Brazil on the decline, the Germans might be next in line for the throne.
This was Messi’s moment to take. At the Maracana, with droves of Argentina fans in support, at the prime of his career, he couldn’t impose his will upon the World Cup final. He had his chances, but couldn’t take them, and the same went for Gonzalo Higuaín, Sergio Agüero, and the rest of the Argentina stars, who didn’t have a shot on target in the match.
With Messi, 27, getting on and the team sporting one of the oldest sides at the World Cup, this may have been Argentina’s last, best shot at a world title before the side needs to rebuild in the next decade.