Germany do a Brazil of 1958
Till now, Brazil were the only South American team in the world to have won the trophy in Europe when it bagged its maiden World Cup in Sweden, drubbing the host side 5-2. Germany became the first European team to win the title on Latin American soil, thus equalising in the battle of prestige that occurs every four years between the two rival continents.
Europe becomes first continent to bag the World Cup three times on a row
The World Cup tournament held this year is the 20th overall and the second in Brazil. This edition was also unique for with Germany's victory, Europe pocketed the title three times in a row (after Italy in 2006 and Spain and 2010) - something which has occurred for the first time in the history of the tournament. The last time a Latin American team had won the World Cup was in 2002 when Brazil won it in Japan and South Korea.
Brazil suffered worst defeat in 94 years when they were beaten 1-7 by Germany in the semifinal
The 2014 World Cup also witnessed a catastrophe. In the first semi-final, eventual champions Germany handed Brazil, the most successful team in World Cup, its most crushing victory ever. On July 8, Germany humiliated Brazil 7-1 in front of 58,141 spectators at Belo Horizonte, leaving the entire footballing world in shock and disbelief. The result matched a 0-6 defeat that Brazil had faced against Uruguay almost a century back.
WC 2014 belonged to James Rodriguez, Lionel Messi and Neymar
The 2014 World Cup was also special for young Colombian talent James Rodriguez who scored six goals in the tournament to bag the Golden Boot Award. Argentina's Lionel Messi was adjudged the best player of the tournament while France's Paul Pogba was chosen as the best young player.
Mario Götze scored the winner for Germany against Argentina in the final
German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was picked as the best in the business and Colombia won the fair play award as a team. Brazil's Neymar had a terrific tournament till the quarter-finals when he was seriously injured by a Colombian player. The injury threw him out of the tournament and dashed Brazil's hopes.
Luis Suarez found his teeth too aggressive in WC 2014
The 2014 edition will also be remembered for Uruguay's Luis Suarez who earned the wrath for the entire sporting community for biting the shoulder of an Italian opponent in a crucial group clash. Suarez, who had a couple of biting acts on the field earlier as well, was handed over a long ban by the FIFA's disciplinary committee and Uruguay had to pay for it dearly in the pre-quarter finals. Suarez was in a sublime form against England against which he scored two goals to keep chances for his team alive.
Colombia, Costa Rica excelled, defenders Spain had a shocking experience
In terms of team performance, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, USA and Algeria were the teams that surprised all. Colombia and Costa Rica made their first-ever quarter-finals in this edition. On the other hand, title defenders Spain crashed to a 1-5 defeat against the Netherlands (who ended third in the tournament defeating Brazil 3-0) and never recovered again. They lost 0-2 even to Chile.
Champions of the 2006 edition Italy failed to make it to the second round in two successive tournaments along with England who also fell at the first hurdle.
WC of vanishing foam and cooling breaks
In terms of technology and other innovation, the 2014 World Cup was known for the goal-line technology, vanishing foam and cooling breaks. The first cooling break to beat the heat was used in the Netherlands versus Mexico match in the pre-quarter finals.
The group stages of the 2014 World Cup witnessed 136 goals and the first drawn match came in the 13th outing.
Germany beat Argentina 1-0: Second time after 1990
The 1-0 victory of Germany over Argentina was identical to the 1990 final in Italy. Argentina's last victory over (West) Germany came in the 1986 final when they won 3-2. It also meant that these two teams met the most number of times in the finals of the FIFA World Cup.