World Cup Round Up: Germany 1-0 Argentina

Martin Rose

It's the last World Cup round up for another four years, oh what great fun it has been. This time, it's the final.

Both teams went in to the final with the belief that they could win it, Argentina had Messi and what seemed like half of their country down there supporting them, but Germany had class, every where on the pitch and had just beaten the hosts 7-1.

Before the match however, Germany were hit with a massive injury blow: Sami Khedira, who was excellent against Brazil, had picked up a calf injury in the warm up and would miss out on the biggest game of his career. 23 year old Christoph Kramer, of Borussia Mönchengladbach, took his place, making his first competitive start for Germany.

The stirring national anthems were sang, and the biggest game in football, got underway.

The game got off to a great start, with the game being quite end-to-end from the get go. Germany were doing all the pressing and were controlling the ball, where as Argentina were sitting deep and hoping to hit the Germans on the counter.

They nearly did just that when Ezequiel Lavezzi beat the, somewhat laboured looking, Mats Hummels, easily before crossing to Gonzalo Higuain, whose shot flashed across the face of goal.

It was then the turn of the man who had more pressure on his shoulders than what was probably the recommended amount, Lionel Messi, to run at Hummels. He twice left him in his wake, with two quick changes of pace, but his cut back was cut out by Jerome Boateng.

Argentina then had the golden chance to take the lead: Toni Kroos,tried heading the ball back to his goalkeeper but it landed right in the path of Higuain, who was in on goal with no body near him. He waited for the ball to drop until it was just an inch of the ground, before dragging his shot well wide of the post. Argentina should have been ahead.

Higuain thought he'd made up for his mistake when he did put the ball in the back of the net. Expertly adding a side footed volley, on to two great passed from Messi and Lavezzi, but was offside. He didn't realise for a good thirty seconds. Nothing quite like watching a player celebrate a goal that's been disallowed.

Thirty two minutes into his World Cup final, Kramer had to be brought off. He had a pretty nasty collision with two Argentine players, where his head got clattered. He tried to carry on but he didn't look like he knew where he was at all. Andre Schürrle replaced him.

Nothing seemed to be going Germany's way, with them being unable to really get any momentum going. Rough tackles had began flying in too, with the game spicing up a little.

Germany finally carved themselves out a chance, Thomas Müller powered his way past Pablo Zabaleta on the left hand side and cut the ball back into the path of Schürrle, Romero was forced to push his powerful shot aside.

Messi then embarked on one of his trademarked mazy runs, which ended with a bit of a scramble in the box, but more great defending from Boateng got the danger away.

Argentina were, for the most part, keeping Germany at bay, with Javier Mascherano and Martin Demichelis, again playing brilliantly.

The anonymous Mesut Özil, displayed very good footwork to tee up Toni Kroos, but his effort from the edge of the box was tame and didn't worry Romero, as he got down to gather it.

He must have been a tad bit more worried about the last chance of the half however. Kroos swung in a great corner, which the completely unmarked Benedikt Höwedes, got a free run on and crashed his head against the post.

And with that, the half time whistle blew.

At the break Sergio Agüero was introduced for Lavezzi, which I found to be quite a strange decision as he was by far their most promising attacking outlet.

Argentina again started the half brightly, but again, they failed to hit the target. Lucas Biglia, slipped through Messi, and the player who has scored from that position so many times before, sent his shot an inch wide of the post.

The second half was quite dull compared to the first, fewer chances were falling to each side, due to both of them having resolute defences.

Manuel Neuer crashed into Higuain, at a similar velocity of a run away train, but he somehow won a free kick for his efforts, despite the fact Higuain will still be tasting his knee for weeks to come.

There was a lack of drive and intensity from Germany, they sorely missed Kedira in the middle of the park to bring the tempo of the game up. Argentina were content with sitting deep and mopping up the pressure.

Suddenly, despite hardly being seen since his miss, Messi bursted into life and drove infield, but he couldn't replicate his fine goal against Iran and failed to get any bend on his shot, as it flew wide of the goal.

With extra time beckoning, Özil again laid off Kroos, but the German midfielder slotted his shot wide of the post.

It was a good start to extra time, with Germany immediately playing with more intent, Romero was again on hand to deny Schürrle, this time palming away his goal bound effort, the ball was eventually cleared by the Argentine defence as another effort was blocked.

A German attack was cut out and Argentina went on the counter, with a numerical advantage over the Germans, but the impeccable Boateng put an end to it almost instantly.

Argentina then had another great chance to go ahead but, yet again, they failed to get the shot on target. the Marcos Rojo played an excellent cross into the box, which Hummels just couldn't reach, substitute Rodrigo Palacio took the ball down on his chest, but he lacked the composure in his lob, as it sailed wide of the goal.

Agüero should have seen a second booking when he practically punched Bastian Schweinsteiger in the face, drawing blood from under his eye, but the infamous Nicola Rizzoli, saw no wrong doing. Thankfully, Schweinsteiger, being the warrior he is, was able to continue in what was an exceptional performance from him.

Then, 113 minutes in, we got the first goal of the World Cup final. Andre Schürrle advanced down the left before lofting in a perfect pass towards Mario Götze, the former Borussia Dortmund man (I miss him okay!) took the ball on his chest before dispatching a perfect volley, which flew across Romero and landed in the back of the net.

Germany erupted.

Argentina threw everything at Germany in the remaining minutes, Neuer, as nonchalant as ever, came out to punch the ball off the head of Rojo and got round him to catch it. Messi headed the ball on to the roof of the net and then he had the opportunity from a free kick, thirty odd yards from goal. It seemed like there was no chance he could beat Neuer from such a distance and that he should swing the ball in. He opted to shoot, and the ball flew well over the goal, summing up Messi's night.

That was the difference between them, Germany got their chances on target and had composure when it mattered. In 120 minutes of football, Argentina failed to test Manuel Neuer once.

The full time whistle brought the World Cup to a close and Germany were crowned champions of the world, and they absolutely deserved it. Over a decade of hard work, reinventing the country's footballing philosophy, investing money and time into developing young players, it all finally payed off in the greatest way of all. Germany proved it can be done, and every other country should take note.

Before the trophy was presented, Manuel Neuer was awarded the golden glove award, also known as Jaime Lannister's gold hand and Messi was, for reasons unknown to me, awarded the golden ball. Messi did not care at all for winning the accolade, because his team had lost, and that epitomised the argument of "is Messi the best player ever" quite nicely - it doesn't matter at all. Football is a team game, nobody really cares for individual honours. He is great, Pele and Maradona and Cruyff and Zidane and Di Stefano and countless others were all also great. That's it.

After Argentine got their runners up medals, it was the turn of Germany to climb the steps, they all huddled together as a team as Philipp Lahm lofted the trophy over his head and as fireworks painted the late Rio sky, black, yellow and red.

I couldn't be more happy to see Lahm, Schweinsteiger and Klose win the trophy, three players who deserve it more than most, but as I said, it's a team game and Germany were by far the best team in the tournament.

After the game, my man Kevin Großkreutz, emerged from the dressing room to go and chant, cheer and celebrate with the German fans still in the ground. I had to include this because I love Kevin Großkreutz.

Full Time: Germany 1-0 Argentina

113 - Götze

MOTM: Bastian Schweinsteiger

Just as soon as it began, the World Cup is over, and it has been utterly sensational. Packed with goals, controversy, hilarity and moments of genuine human kindness. This is the best World Cup of my life time. I'm distraught that it's over, but I'm delighted it ended in a manner that expressed just how wonderful it has been. I'd fallen out with football a bit, being a Bolton fan does that to you, but thanks to the World Cup, I'm bang back in love.

See you in four years.

*Insert heart wrenching, spine tingling, tear inducing montage here*

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