A moment of magic from substitute Mario Goetze in the 113th minute of extra-time helped Germany to their fourth World Cup title, beating a tactically-isolated Argentina in the 2014 gold-ribbon finale.
An amazing first touch from the young German star and an equally sensational volley into the bottom corner of the Argentine goal beat goalkeeper Sergio Romero at his far post and resulted in a “Berliner” party not seen since they last won the cup against the same opponents in Italy 1990.
As the ball nestled itself in the Maracana net, a great sense of relief echoed across Germany as this golden generation, which has been a regular victim of coming out second-best in big tournaments, finally realized their full potential and produced a result completely worthy of their now World Champions status.
However, while Berlin was celebrating and rejoicing, Buenos Aires was mourning a missed opportunity, their talisman Lionel Messi, who won the tournaments Golden Ball award, looking distraught as, what could be his only chance to immortalise himself in history books, went flying by against a superior German outfit.
Opening on a balmy night in the Garden of Rio, Brazilian fans were seen supporting Germany on the night and it already seemed that the Europeans had the upper hand. However, it wasn’t all one-sided. Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain missed a gilt-edged chance early on in the match as he put his volley wide following a poor Toni Kroos header in the midfield. Benedikt Howedes hit the post for Germany just prior to half-time before Leo Messi had his solitary chance, made out for a World Cup Final hero to emerge after being played through by midfielder Lucas Biglia, but he put his shot centimetres wide from his angled position.
Instead, it was Goetze who was the hero.
A stunning goal that helped the Germans to their fourth World Cup title, and resulted in a fourth star on their famous white, red and gold jersey, saw heroic captain Phillip Lahm lift the legendary golden trophy into the starry Brazilian night.
World Champions: Germany