The 2014 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that took place on 13 July 2014 at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to determine the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion. Germany defeated Argentina 1–0 in extra time, with the only goal being scored by Mario Götze, who collected André Schürrle's cross from the left on his chest before volleying a high left-footed shot into the net. The match was the third final between the two countries, a World Cup record, after their 1986 and 1990 matches, and billed as the world's best player (Lionel Messi) versus the world's best team (Germany).
Before the match, Germany had reached the World Cup final seven times (six times as West Germany from 1954 to 1990), winning three (1954, 1974, 1990) and being runners-up four times (1966, 1982, 1986, 2002); Argentina had reached four finals, winning twice (1978, 1986) and placing second twice (1930, 1990).
The result marked Germany's fourth World Cup title and their first World championship as a unified nation. The victory meant that three consecutive World Cups have been won by teams from the same continent, following Italy and Spain in 2006 and 2010 respectively, the first time this has happened in World Cup history. It was also the first time that three consecutive World Cup finals were still tied after 90 minutes. The final marked the first time a World Cup in the Americas was not won by a team from the Americas.
In the winning German team, Miroslav Klose, who had become the top scorer in World Cup history in the semi-final victory over Brazil, became one of the very few players ever to have won gold, silver and bronze medals in the World Cup (bronze in 2006 and 2010, silver in 2002 and gold in 2014), joining a club with such players as Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier and Wolfgang Overath (1966–1974).
The two teams had met in 20 previous matches, with nine wins for Argentina, six wins for Germany and five draws. In these games, both teams had scored a total of 28 goals. Six of these matches were at a World Cup, two of them in the final. The 2014 final was the seventh World Cup match between them, equalling a tournament record for meetings between two teams (along with Brazil vs Sweden, and Germany vs Yugoslavia). The last three meetings were in three consecutive World Cups, having met in quarter-finals of 2006 and 2010 campaigns.
|Previous World Cup matches between the teams|
In the 1966 FIFA World Cup, Argentina and West Germany played a 0–0 draw in the group stage. FIFA cautioned Argentina for its violent style against the Germans which saw Argentine Rafael Albrecht get sent off and suspended for the next match.
The 1990 FIFA World Cup Final saw two Argentine players get sent off and West Germany won 1–0 due to a controversial penalty kick late in the match.
The 2006 quarter-final game, where Germany won 4–2 in the shootout after the game ended 1–1, was marred by a post-match brawl caused by the Argentines, which resulted in suspensions for two Argentine players and one German player.
The most recent meeting between the two teams was a friendly match played on 15 August 2012 at Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt am Main, won by Argentina 3–1. Before the tournament, a friendly was scheduled for 3 September 2014, being the first match for both teams after the World Cup. Argentina won this meeting 4–2.
Among the players in the 2014 World Cup squads, the following played in the 2006 and 2010 meetings:
|Previous appearance of players from the teams|
Klose scored one goal in the 2006 meeting and two goals in the 2010 meeting, while Müller scored one goal in the 2010 meeting. Germany manager Joachim Löw was the assistant manager in 2006 and the manager in 2010.
|Portugal||4–0||Match 1||Bosnia and Herzegovina||2–1|
|United States||1–0||Match 3||Nigeria||3–2|
|Group G winner
|Final standings||Group F winner
|Algeria||2–1 (aet)||Round of 16||Switzerland||1–0 (aet)|
|Brazil||7–1||Semi-finals||Netherlands||0–0 (aet) (4–2 pen.)|
The match ball for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final, announced on 29 May 2014, featured a variation of the Adidas Brazuca named the Adidas Brazuca Final Rio. Whilst the technical aspects of the ball were the same, the design was different from the Brazuca balls used in the group stages and other playoffs, with a green, gold and black coloring. It was the third special ball for FIFA World Cup final matches, after the +Teamgeist Berlin (2006) and the Jo'bulani (2010).
Nicola Rizzoli, from Italy, was named as the referee of the final, together with fellow Italians Renato Faverani and Andrea Stefani as the assistant referees, and Carlos Vera and Christian Lescano from Ecuador as the fourth and fifth officials. Earlier in the 2014 World Cup, Rizzoli took charge of the Spain–Netherlands and Nigeria–Argentina matches in the group stage, and the Argentina–Belgium quarter-final. He had previously taken charge of the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final and the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final. He was also one of the referees at the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He became the third Italian referee to take charge of a World Cup final, after Sergio Gonella in 1978 and Pierluigi Collina in 2002.
Both teams named unchanged starting line-ups from their semi-finals, but German midfielder Sami Khedira withdrew during the warm-up with a calf injury. He was replaced by Christoph Kramer, who had made two brief substitute appearances during the tournament. Kramer himself suffered a head injury after a collision with Ezequiel Garay inside the penalty area, but was initially cleared to continue playing. Fourteen minutes later in the 31st minute however, he collapsed to the ground, apparently suffering from concussion and was replaced by André Schürrle.
Argentina's Gonzalo Higuaín missed a good opportunity in the first half, dragging his shot wide after being put through on goal by a misjudged header from Toni Kroos. He had a goal disallowed later in the first half, when he was ruled offside after tapping in a cross by Ezequiel Lavezzi from the right wing. Lionel Messi wasted a chance early in the second half, firing wide of the German goal from inside the penalty area after receiving a through pass. In extra time, Rodrigo Palacio's lob over Manuel Neuer went just wide after the forward received a cross, missed by Mats Hummels, in the German penalty area. Germany had the closest chance when Benedikt Höwedes' header hit the post after a corner.
Mario Götze of Germany scored during extra time, in the 113th minute, when he collected Schürrle’s cross from the left on his chest before volleying left-footed into the net. He became the first substitute to score a World Cup-winning goal, as well as the youngest player to score in a World Cup Final since German Wolfgang Weber in 1966 (same age, 22). Prior to Götze's goal, Germany came close to scoring on a number of occasions, including a header by Benedikt Höwedes that struck the Argentine goalpost just before halftime. Schürrle later struck a close-range shot straight at Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero early in the first half of extra time, after a pass from Götze. Thomas Müller had a chance to double Germany's lead after dribbling past two defenders, but his shot across the net was too wide.
Late in extra time, Messi had a free kick within goal-scoring distance, which would have equalised, but he hit it over the crossbar.
Man of the Match:
|Shots on target||7||2|
Due to the Argentina–Brazil football rivalry, the Brazilians in the crowd supported Germany, despite their resounding 7–1 victory over Brazil in the semi-finals, as the Germans had shown respect to the defeated hosts, while Argentine fans had celebrated Brazil's elimination. Most Brazilians were reportedly relieved that their rivals did not win the World Cup in Brazil's iconic home stadium.
Host President Dilma Rousseff invited the BRICS leaders to the final ahead of the 6th BRICS summit. Among these invited leaders was Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, the next World Cup hosts, and Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa, the previous host. The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, and the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, did not attend the event. Other world leaders Viktor Orbán (Hungary), Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon) and Gaston Browne (Antigua and Barbuda) also attended the event, which led The Guardian to label the guest list "bizarre and random". Rousseff delivered the trophy to the champions in the awards ceremony.
German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel were present for the final. Merkel already watched the Germany vs. Portugal match in Salvador, when the German team won 4–0. The President of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, did not attend because of both her grandson's birthday and a case of pharyngo-laryngitis.
Russian comedian Vitaly Zdorovetskiy ran onto the pitch during the match with "Natural Born Prankster" written across his torso and attempted to kiss Benedikt Höwedes of Germany. Brazilian authorities arrested him, and he was released hours after the match.
Several celebrities also attended the final, including Rihanna, Mick Jagger, David Beckham, Fabio Cannavaro, Lothar Matthäus, Daniel Passarella, Ashton Kutcher, Daniel Craig, Tom Brady, LeBron James and Pelé.
The closing ceremony took place about an hour and forty minutes before the final. A performance of two acts, the ceremony lasted about 20 minutes. The first act featured 22 samba dancers and a host of other performers, with 32 of the dancers wearing dresses decorated in the colours of the 32 participating teams. The second act featured musical performances headlined by Colombian singer Shakira, and included singers Carlinhos Brown, Wyclef Jean, Alexandre Pires, Ivete Sangalo and guitarist Carlos Santana.
According to FIFA, 1.013 billion individuals globally watched the final match of this tournament.
Do you know, that's the first substitute to score a winning goal in a World Cup final?
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