It was a dramatic ending to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil on Sunday night as Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in extra time play. More than one billion people from around the world tuned in for the final game of the international soccer tournament. This is Germany’s fourth World Cup title, and its first since 1990.
Germany and Argentina were favorites in the tournament. In the final game, both teams showed strong defense. German substitute Mario Goetze, 22, scored the only goal of the game, pushing past the defense to volley the ball past Argentina goalie Sergio Romero.
“At the end of the match, having a party with the team, the whole country ... it is, for us, a dream come true,” Goetze told the Associated Press.
A Country Celebrates
Germany has been rebuilding its team since 2000, and its strategy paid off with the World Cup win. As the German fans in the stadium cheered Sunday night, the gold World Cup trophy was handed to Germany captain Philipp Lahm.
In Germany, fans celebrated the night of the World Cup victory by gathering in front of the German’s capital’s famous Brandenburg Gate. They embraced each other, and cheered their country’s title as the new world champions.
“They made it exciting,” Leon Tober of Fuerstenwalde, east of Berlin, told The Associated Press. “It was a long wait, especially after twice coming third (in previous World Cups). It’s great for the young generation.”
On the list of all-time champions, Germany is now ranked second with Italy, just behind Brazil, which has five World Cup wins.
Showdown in Brazil
The World Cup is one of the world’s most popular sporting events. The first World Cup soccer tournament was held in 1930. Since that time, the World Cup has taken place every four years, with a few exceptions due to international conflict.
This year, the tournament took place over a four-week period in cities all around Brazil. Brazil had faced delays and other issues as it prepared for the tournament; however, for the most part, the tournament went smoothly. The 64 matches were held in 12 cities.
The tournament started off with 32 countries, compiled into eight groups of four teams. The countries competed against one another until 16 teams were eliminated, leaving the other half of the teams to begin competing within the knockout stage. After making their way to the knockout stage, Germany defeated Algeria, France, and then finally Brazil with a score of 7-1, which advanced their team into the finals against Argentina.
There were many dramatic moments over the last month of play. The home country of Brazil had to play without one of its star striker Neymar after he was injured, and then suffered a big loss to Germany. Uruguay striker Luis Suarez bit another player, leading to his suspension. The U.S. lost to Belgium during the round-of-16 match.
While Argentine star and team captain Lionel Messi didn’t bring home the trophy for his country, he has been called the best player in the world. Messi won the best player trophy for the tournament.
The final between Argentina and Germany also broke records on Facebook and Twitter. It became the most talked about sporting event ever on Facebook, and generated the most amount of tweets per minute of any sporting event on Twitter.
Prior to the final match on Sunday night was a rousing closing ceremony featuring performances by Shakira and Wyclef Jean. Fans can look forward to the next World Cup in 2018 in Russia.