Germany beat Argentina 1-0 with a last-gasp goal in extra-time by substitute Mario Gotze to win the 2014 World Cup at Maracana on Sunday.
The European giants won their fourth World Cup after a 24-year wait. Incidentally, this is the first World Cup trophy for unified Germany, the previous
three having been won by West Germany in 1954, 1974 and 1990. This is also the first time a European team has lifted the trophy on South American soil.
Lionel Messi, arguably the best player on the planet, was denied a fairytale end to his third World Cup campaign and a chance to match the heroics of countryman Diego Maradona.
In 1986, Argentina had gone home from Mexico with the World Cup and the legend of Maradona's hand of god. On Sunday evening they went back just with the aching pain of letting the Cup slip away from their grasp and the tragic tale of Higuain's feet of clay.
Earlier, Messi missed an early second-half chance, shooting wide from a tight angle. Messi broke free on the left side and tried to go for the far post but the ball rolled wide of the Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and his net. Messi again shot wide in the 75th.
Germany had a chance in the 71st, with the ball bouncing between players in front of goal, but Andre Schuerrle couldn't control.
Argentina had the better opportunities in the first half, and forward Gonzalo Higuain was their most dangerous player.
The Napoli striker missed a great chance to put his team ahead in the 21st minute, shooting wide after an errant headed backpass. He then had a goal correctly ruled out for offside in the 30th.
Germany was forced to play without Sami Khedira, who pulled out of the starting lineup minutes before kickoff and was replaced by Christoph Kramer.
Kramer, however, was first injured in the 18th minute and then was replaced by Schuerrle in the 32nd with what appeared to be a head injury.
Schuerrle, who scored the last two goals against Brazil in the 7-1 semifinal rout as a substitute, then had Germany's best chance in the 37th, but Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero made the block.
Benedikt Hoewedes also had an injury-time header hit the post.
(With inputs from Agencies)
Live Blog World Cup Final: Germany vs Argentina
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