World Cup 2014: It’s carnival time for Germany in Rio

 

Rio de Janeiro

Germany erupted in joy last night as its team made footballing history by becoming the first European side to win the World Cup in South America.

The Brandenburg gate in Berlin, where fans had gathered in their thousands, was the scene of the biggest celebration as Mario Götze broke the deadlock deep into extra time to secure a 1-0 win.

There were only a few Germans in Rio de Janeiro compared to the legions of Argentinians, and their faces were masks of steely determination for much of the match. But those grim expressions and those of the hordes in Berlin were transformed as Germany secured their fourth world title after a 24-year wait.

In the Maracana stadium, the Argentina fans were gracious in defeat, applauding the German team after the final whistle.

 

In contrast to the jubilation in Berlin, there was dismay on Copacabana beach, which had been turned into a little piece of Argentina for the evening by some 70,000 fans dressed in sky blue and white as they watched big screens.

Hours before, it had all been so different as their fans rocked the metro trains that rattled underneath the length of Rio’s beaches and rolled into the Maracana, fresh legions flooding on to each train at every stop, and noisily joining in the chorus of the moment, banging on seats, the windows, the floo.

“A Messi lo vas a ver / La copa nos va a traer / Maradona es  mas grande que Pele,” they sang confidently. “You will see / Messi will bring us the cup / and Maradona was better than Pele.”

Read more: Germany 1 Argentina 0 as it happened
Shakira performs at the closing ceremony
Germany's journey to glory founded on unique mentality

Two popes, a concrete Christ and a football god. It should have had it all. But in the great cathedral of the Maracana, the game’s higher power on earth couldn’t quite manage finally to beatify himself.

That honour fell to Mario Gotze, who at the age of 22, has done that unsurpassably magic thing. To score the winning goal in the World Cup Final.

As it was in Rome in 1990, Germany beat Argentina 1-0, and the game’s great player, Maradona then, Messi now, could not prevent them.

 

He had his chance, a free-kick from outside the box with a minute on the clock. But the miracle never came. The sea never parted. And Messi, unlike Maradona, never cried.

There were no miracles to speak of all night. It could have been the game’s great feast, but half the 75,000 left having drunk from football’s holy grail, in football terms, they went home unfed.

Everywhere but on the pitch, Argentina won.

Read more: Messi walks past trophy twice
The best moments of the tournament

In time, Brazil may come to view that 7 - 1 semi final demolition at the hands of Germany with relief. Had they made the final, they’d likely have found themselves out-supported in their own home.

But as Argentina’s net rippled in the second half of extra time and the stadium erupted, it was suddenly clear who Brazil had been silently supporting all along. It was the only time Argentina were outsung.

Shakira’s ever truthful hips officially closed the tournament - for the third time running, with the help of a Brazilian percussionist, but the unofficial soundtrack of the match was a more unlikely one. New, Spanish words to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising had spread to every corner of Rio de Janeiro where it found the willing voices of an Argentine army.

“Brasil decime que se siente / temer en casa a tu papa”

“Brazil, tell me what it feels like, to have your father back in your house?”

A rude but accurate sentiment. Germany was here, the record books will very clearly show, but it was an Argentine invasion. The Sambodromo, where bare-breasted Brazilians in ten foot feathers come shimmying on the back of golden carnival floats each Mardi Gras, was an Argentine car park.

All along Copacabana, the only music and passion to be found were the thousands upon thousands of Argentine voices.

Argentina fans on Copacabana beach Argentina fans on Copacabana beach  

Argentina’s fans rocked the metro trains that rattled underneath the length of Rio’s glistening beaches and rolled into the Maracana. Fresh legions of them flooding on to each train at every stop, and noisily joining in the chorus of the moment, banging on the seats, the windows, the floor and ceiling.

On one, a man in long white robes and a rubber face mask of the Argentine Pope Francis conducted the masses, and, complete with crucifix and rosary, blessed all those that posed for pictures with him.

There were a few Germans too, all but forced into silence, but in their faces was a sense that in the end, the football would talk the loudest.

Germany has its own Pope Emeritus too of course, as had been widely pointed out in the build up, but there is no debating the nationality of football’s current higher power on earth. Many had longed for this match to be Lionel Messi’s great sermon, beneath Rio’s rising favela mountain sides.

If the world’s hearts had been invested in a footballing fairy tale, of Leo Messi lifting the trophy in the Maracana, the money was elsewhere. British bookmakers reported 95 per cent of bets had been placed on Germany.

That’s a lot of bets to settle. And a football tournament that will still be remembered as the most dramatic, most exciting World Cup of all time, had at its final act a disappointing drama of what might have been. Though that’s not how Mr Gotze will remember it. And his country deserved it.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform