03.55 (IST): An exceptional World Cup comes to an end! What a roller coaster it has been! 64 games and a 171 goals later, Germany are standing with the coveted trophy in their hands. Apart from the winners, the tournament has seen a host of sub-plots, from a few underdog stories to Brazil's resounding loss that derailed the World Cup dream. The tournament that gave the World a young superstar in Colombia's James Rodriguez , also witnessed a 31-year-old Arjen Robben perform to his best and help Netherlands reach the semis. In contrast, Cristiano Ronaldo and his Portugal side faded away with a group stage exit and England were sent packing early. Messi did well to guide his side till the final but failed to score in the final and ended on the losing side. His consolation prize was the Golden Ball but he did not look one bit elated after what transpired in the 120 minutes of football.
03.33 (IST): Colombia's 22-year-old attacking mid-fielder JAMES RODRIGUEZ (6 goals) wins the Golden Boot.
03.26 (IST): MANUEL NEUER wins the Golden Glove award!
03.23 (IST): LIONEL MESSI has won the Golden Ball Award!
03.08 (IST): It's all over! Germany are the World champions! They clinch their fourth World Cup title and become the first European side to win on South American soil.
03.05 (IST): Two minutes of added time. Can Argentina provide some late drama?
02.58 (IST): It was a great combination from Germany's super-subs Schurrle and Goetze as the former put in the air ball for the latter to collect it inside the box and slot it in the back of the net.
02.57 (IST): This is the first time Argentina have trailed in this World Cup and what an unfortunate time for them to do so! Germany are under five minutes away from a World Cup triumph.
02.55 (IST): GOAL! Mario Goetze puts Germany ahead in the 113th minute.
02.52 (IST): 109' Oh that looks nasty! Schweinsteiger is bleeding under his right eye after a mid-air collision with Argentina's Mascherano.
02.48 (IST): The game has taken a heavy toll on players. Messi was seen vomiting during the game.
02.44 (IST): First period of extra-time ends. Still no goals in this game. Can the last 15 minutes yield a World Cup winner?
02.36 (IST): 97' Palacio! Marcus Rojo puts in a splendid ball and the German defenders are caught napping. But Palacio's first touch is a bit strong and his attempted chip over an advancing Neuer is off-target.
02.29 (IST): What a start to extra-time! Schurrle clearly with the best chance of the game! Attempts a finesse shot from inside the box, only to be denied by Romero who parries the ball away. Aguero sprints on the counter, but he too is stopped short by the Germany defender.
02.28 (IST): The first period of extra-time begins.
02.21 (IST): Full-time! Germany 0 Argentina 0. Match moves to extra-time.
02.20 (IST): 90 minutes are up. Three minutes of added time!
02. 19 (IST): Meanwhile, Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh has put his prediction hat on. This is what he says:
Ok let's predict ! Both teams will score in extra time ! Then Germany wins on penalties although I would like arg to !- yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) July 13, 2014
02.18 (IST): 89' Mario Goetze is in for Miroslav Klose, who walks away to a huge round of applause.
02.15 (IST): Under five minutes to go, it is still 0-0. Can Messi do an Iran?
02.06 (IST): 77' Argentina bring on Palacio for Gonzalo Higuain.
02.00 (IST): 71' A Worried-looking Sabella is out of the dug out as just over 20 minutes remain in the tournament finale. Will the parting manager get a World Cup title as a send-off gift.
01.55 (IST): 65' Another yellow as Aguero is booked! This was a case of late challenge from the Argentine striker on Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger.
01.53 (IST): 64' Mascherano is booked! He fails to catch up with Klose and puts in a sliding tackle and catches the German striker's legs, resulting in a foul and a caution.
01.50 (IST): 61' Schurrle with another surging run down the right side but his cross deflects off a German forward and ends as an Argentina goalkick.
01.49 (IST): One hour of the game is done with both teams still vying for the opening goal. Will this game be decided in 90 minutes?
01.48 (IST): 59' Meanwhile, Germany manage to string an attack and a Lahm delivery is met by a Klose header, but a rather tame one as the veteran striker seems to have mistimed his jump. Romero happily collects the ball.
01.46 (IST): 57' Nasty collision! German keeper Neuer has a mid-air collision with Argentine striker Higuain as both were vying for an air ball. Neuer succeeded in punching it away but ended up ramming his knee against Higuain's jaw. Much to the latter's horror, the ref awarded the free-kick in favour of Germany.
01.44 (IST): 54' Schurrle with a very good run down the right flank. He tries to put the ball into the box but Garay hits it away from danger. Germany get a corner but a foul inside the box gives Argentina a free-kick.
01.42 (IST): Argentina are looking the livelier side at the start of the second half. It's only just past 50 minutes and Messi has already had a shot from inside the box. If Argentina continue to make in-roads, the German defence will be thoroughly tested.
01.37 (IST): 47' MESSI!! He's hit it wide! Thanks to a flurry of Argentine attacks, Messi finds his way into the box past the German defence but his shot is not on target.
01.34 (IST): The players are back for the second half. Argentina bring on Sergio Aguero for Lavezzi.
01.27 (IST): This has been a captivating first period of 45 minutes, perfectly fitting for a World Cup final. Both teams have had their share of scoring opportunities but Argentina have looked slightly better as far as the threat of taking a lead was concerned.
01.17 (IST): Half-time! Germany 0 Argentina 0.
01.16 (IST): Off the post! German left-back runs in to head a cross and it ricochets off the post. The linesman also signals it as off-side.
01.15 (IST): Two minutes of injury time in the first half.
01.09 (IST): 39' LIONEL MESSI! What a brilliant run but no goal! Messi masterfully runs past a host of German defenders and even beats Neuer but loses his balance and the ball is cleared away.
01.06 (IST): 36' Lavezzi takes a good curling corner kick but German custodian Neuer is out to take a comfortable catch. At the other end on the counter, Schurrle takes a good shot from outside the box and Romero makes a diving save.
01.01 (IST): Meanwhile, Christoph Kramer's World Cup final is over. He is being carried off due to injury and Andre Schurrle replaces him.
01.00 (IST): 30' GOAL!! No offside! What a game Higuain is having! Lavezzi puts in a brilliant ball and Higuain beats Romero but the linesman's flag was up!
00.51 (IST): 22' Oh dear! What a miss by Higuain! Germany's Toni Kroos can breath easy for a bit! A poor back pass allowed Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain to pounce on a freebie and had a one-on-one chance with the goal keeper but he fired his low shot wide.
00.46 (IST): Going by how this game has gone so far, this could be the fight of the Midfield Generals! Lahm for Germany and Mascherano for Argentina will be decisive in making plays in the middle.
00.45 (IST): 16' A flurry of attacks leads to a German corner and Toni Kroos takes a low shot but the Argentine defence clear it away.
00.43 (IST): 12' Lahm delivers a good ball into the box and Muller is there but Argentine defender Demichelis does well to avert the danger.
00.40 (IST): Lavezzi is making life tough for the German left-back with his surging runs. For the moment though, Germans are holding on. Argentina win their first corner in the 11th minute.
00.38 (IST): Muller is making early strides in the Argentine half and putting pressure on the Argentine goalkeeper Romero. On the other end however, Messi too is making his scintillating runs. Absorbing first 10 minutes.
00.33 (IST): 5' Counter! The free-kick was a tame effort from Germany and the quick Argentine players created a chance out of nothing. Forward Gonzalo Higuain had a chance but hit it wide.
00.30 (IST): 4' First foul of the game! Argentina defender Marcos Rojo seems to have had a little nudge on German forward Muller, enough for the latter to go down a few yards outside the box.
00.29 (IST): A late change for Germany! Central midfielder Sami Khedira is out due to injury. Christoph Kramer replaces him in the starting line-up.
00.28 (IST): Klose, who is the only player in the match today who has featured in a World Cup final before, leads the line for Germany. Argentina has Lionel Messi up-front, who is still searching for his first knockout stage goal.
00.27 (IST): "It's an honour. I never imagined I'd have the kind of career I've had, living a dream cherished by millions of children and doing what I enjoy most. Likewise, I never thought that the last act of my sporting career would be presenting the trophy at the World Cup Final. I am very grateful to FIFA for thinking of me. I've been lucky enough to play in the final of a World Cup before, but it's always an amazing experience to walk out at a packed stadium," Puyol said, as reported by FIFA.com.
00.24 (IST): Both teams are now out for their respective national anthems.
00.20 (IST): Legends in the house! Former footballing heroes Kaka, Pele and David Beckham are in Maracana for the final showdown.
00.14 (IST): Spainish defender Carles Puyol unveils the glittering World Cup trophy. Puyol finished a glorious 15-year-long career with Barcelona last year has also led Spain.
00.06 (IST): The teams are out in the magnificent Maracana stadium for a pre-final warm-up.
23.57 (IST): Bringing a musical end to what has been an exceptional World Cup, Colombian popstar Shakira dazzled during the closing ceremony. (View Photo Gallery)
23.38 (IST): Argentina are without Angel di Maria again. Even Sergio Aguero does not start, despite reports of his full recovery.
23.37 (IST): Argentina XI: Romero, Garay, Zabaleta, Biglia, Perez, Higuain, Messi (c), Mascherano, Demichelis, Rojo, Lavezzi
23.35 (IST): Germany XI: Germany: Neuer, Howedes, Hummels, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Klose, Muller, Lahm (c), Kroos, Boateng
Germany vs Argentina Factfile
- This is Germany's eighth World Cup final.
- Germany last won a World Cup in 1990, against Argentina.
- This will be Argentina's fifth World Cup final.
- Germany have eliminated Argentina in the last two World Cups (2006 and 2010), both in quarterfinals.
- Argentina's 4-0 loss to Germany in World Cup 2010 was their heaviest loss in 40 years.
- Germany are unbeaten in 17 internationals (Won 12, Drawn 5)
- Miroslav Klose is the only player across both squads to have featured in a World Cup final before (in 2002).
- Muller could become the first player ever to win the Golden Boot at successive World Cups.
- Argentina's Lionel Messi has created the most-number of goal-scoring opportunities in the tournament (21).
- Messi is yet to score a goal in the knockout stage of a World Cup.
- Germany's Mesut Ozil has created most-number of goal-scoring chances for his side (15).
- Muller (2010 and 2014) and Klose (2002 and 2006) are the only two players to score five or more goals in consecutive World Cups.
- Argentina are yet to trail for a single minute in this year's World Cup.
- Penalty shootout record: Argentina have won four out of their last five penalty shootouts while Germany have won their last four.
Germany vs Argentina 2014 Head-to-head
- Out of the six games in World Cups, Germany have one three, Argentina have won one and two games have ended in a draw.
Germany vs Argentina Preview
Germany expect the experience that runs through their team to give them the edge over Argentina in Sunday's World Cup final after admitting they restrained themselves when they thumped Brazil in the semi-finals.
Germany ruined the samba nation's dream of winning the World Cup when they hammered Brazil 7-1 on Tuesday but forward Thomas Mueller revealed it could have been worse.
The Europeans were leading 5-0 at halftime and decided during the break that they would not embarrass the hosts by showboating with fancy passes or trick shots.
"With the score the way it was, we said we should avoid being arrogant and to refrain from humiliating the opponent," Mueller said on Friday.
"There was this agreement and it came from the players themselves."
Mueller, one of 10 names short-listed for the Golden Boot award given to the best player of the tournament, said Germany were anticipating a much tougher match from Argentina so could not afford to let up at any stage against the South Americans. (Read more)
Lionel Messi's 'Most Important' Match
Argentina captain Lionel Messi declared on Saturday that he and his team-mates were ready for "the most important match of our lives" against Germany in Sunday's World Cup final.
"Tomorrow, we will play the most important match of our lives for our country," the Barcelona superstar wrote on his official Facebook page.
"My dreams and my hopes are being fulfilled due to the hard work and sacrifice of a team that has given everything from match one. (Read more)
Messi One Step Away From Greatness
Argentina's Lionel Messi will never have a better opportunity to prove he is one of the greatest players of all time than in Sunday's World Cup final against Germany.
For all the breath-taking goals and teeming towers of silverware he has accumulated with Barcelona, it is in the World Cup final that the true greats confirm their legacies.
From a 17-year-old Pele in 1958 to Andres Iniesta in 2010, via Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, and Ronaldo, football's biggest personalities have bent the sport's biggest occasion to their will. (Read more)
FIFA Fever Grips Germany as National Team Eyes 5th Title
Germans saw a fourth World Cup title tantalisingly within their grasp on Sunday, with millions set to flood the streets in support of the country's beloved Mannschaft in its showdown with Argentina.
It would be the first title for Germany since the country's joyous unification in 1990, and come as the nation celebrates a quarter century since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Still giddy from the German side's huge 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in Tuesday's semifinal, up to 200,000 supporters will be packing Berlin's giant Fan Mile behind the Brandenburg Gate, with millions more huddled in front of screens in beer gardens, bars, sports clubs and sitting rooms throughout the country. (Read more)
Germany Ready to Make History
Joachim Loew says Germany is ready to write history by winning Sunday's final to become the first European side to win the World Cup in the Americas.
The Germans take on Argentina in the World Cup final at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracana Stadium with Loew hoping to win the nation's fourth world title.
No European side has won any of the eight World Cups held in the Americas, but Loew says his side can write their names in the history books.
"Regardless of what has happened in the past, it is a matter of winning now and we know we can write history, because Latin American sides have been able to dominate on home soil," said Loew. (Read more)
Rampaging Germany Ready to Wreck Messi's Dream
A Germany side chasing a place in history will attempt to wreck Lionel Messi's dream of a World Cup coronation with Argentina on Sunday as the month-long football carnival hits a climax at the Maracana Stadium.
The 64th game of one of the best World Cups of all time pits Europe against South America -- a duel between two football superpowers in one of the sport's most evocative arenas.
Germany are attempting to become the first side from Europe to win a World Cup in the Americas, determined that a golden generation will finally gets it reward after a string of near-misses. (Read more)