So the 2014 Football World Cup finally comes to an end with Germany clinching a well deserved title. But there are quite a few reasons why this world cup would stick to memory for a long time.
1. First European Team Winning in South America
Germany became the first European team to ever win a FIFA World Cup organized in South America, breaking the jinx that few thought would be broken. Though to many minds, Germany was clearly the strongest side from the beginning.
The winning goal was scored by Mario Götze, who has become the all-time youngest goal scorer in a FIFA World Cup.
2. Brazil's Historic Humiliation
More than anyone else, the Brazilians would remember the 2014 FIFA World Cup with great bitterness. Other than the political conflict around the organization of the event, the 7-1 humbling from Germany was the heaviest loss in the history of the Kings of Football.
The tears were just too hard to bear.
3. Neymar's Inflicted Injury
The world cup would also be remembered for the controversial challenge from Colombian defender Noriga that sent Neymar packing for the rest of the championship. Neymar suffered a fractured vertebrae and to many Brazilians this "hunting" caused the rest of their World Cup campaign go down the drain.
4. Miroslav Klose's Record Breaking Goal
The World Cup saw many new records and one was Miroslav Klose beating the record of Ronaldo's golden goal. The German striker has scored 16 goals in 23 World Cup finals appearances, with 2 of them scored in the 2014 World Cup. Here is the record breaking goal against Brazil from the ruthless German center forward.
5. Messi's Golden Ball Embarrassment
This World Cup will also be remembered for the controversial Golden Ball awarded to Argentina's Lionel Messi, who bitterly ended up on the losing side in the final. He reluctantly accepted the award and was visibly disturbed by the photo op that followed. He also wasted no time in taking off his loser's silver medal.
6. Suarez' Infamous Golden Bite
This World Cup will particularly be recalled by football fans for Luis Suarez' infamous bite with Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini being the victim. The bite caused FIFA to kick him out of the sport for three months, but to many it was a Golden Bite, since that caused Liverpool to let him go.
The controversial Uruguayan striker struck a dream deal with Barcelona for ₤62.5 million and must surely be on cloud nine.
7. Van Persie's Flying Dutchman Goal & Spanish Humiliation
This World Cup probably peaked way too early with Robert Van Persie's "Flying Dutchman Goal", which was probably one of the most spectacular one you would ever see in the sport. This goal marked the beginning of the humiliation of the defending champions Spain, who were battered by the Netherlands 5 goals to 1.
Needless to mention, Spain could not make it to the second round and Chile took their spot instead. And it pretty much ruined Iker Casillas' career.
8. Costa Rica's Braveheart Campaign
Germany won the World Cup alright, but the team that came out with the strongest run in their history was Costa Rica. Costa Rica made it to the quarterfinals while only conceding 1 goal in the process and only lost to the Netherlands on penalty shootout after a goal less draw. Well played.
9. James Rodriguez' Golden Boot Performance
James Rodriguez of Colombia was comprehensively the find of the tournament, winning the hearts of millions including Diego Maradona who endorsed him for Golden Ball instead of Messi. Despite Colombia getting eliminated in the quarter finals, he remained the top scorer till the end, winning the Golden Boot award with 6 goals in 5 appearances. That's what you need to do to win Golden Boot, score in every game.
And especially, goals like these against the likes of Uruguay.
10. Goal Line Technology and the Free Kick Spray
Another exceptional novelty this World Cup was the introduction of technology, as it is being done in numerous other sports including tennis to ensure fairness. The goal line technology confirms the status of split second off-the-line encounters. The free kick spray, which dilutes after a minute or so, is said to prevent cheating restricting the defensive wall and the kick spot. Was it really effective? You be the judge.
11. Most Goals Scored
Brazil 2014, along with France '98, would be remembered as the highest scoring football World Cup so far with 171 goals in total. However, there was something more unique to this World Cup in terms of goal scoring. This tournament featured the greatest number of goals from substitutes in any World Cup in history. As many as the number of participating teams. 32.