Sport The Maracana can be seen behind the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro
Now the football is over, Ian Herbert pays tribute to the hosts for the warmth of their welcome to the world, their unexpected success in staging the tournament, and senses a new national belief that can begin to tackle the numerous social problems that blight the country
A selection of the best players at the World Cup
GALLERY From Messi and Muller, who has impressed us enough to make the top 50 players of this year's World Cup? And there's even room for an England player...
VIDEO As football fans across the world come to terms with the end of arguably one of the greatest World Cups ever, a German pen maker created its own souvenir to remember Brazil 2014
Mario Gotze kisses the World Cup, Angela Merkel poses with Lukas Podolski, and Lionel Messi walks off the stage after Argentina's defeat
VIDEO Watch the moment Mario Gotze wrote his name into the history books
Latest international football video

Phil Jagielka in relaxed mood during training

Phil Jagielka: I may never win back England place, says Everton defender

The Everton defender was a part of the side humbled at the World Cup

A view of Hampden Park

Euro 2020: England might have to play games at Hampden Park

The semi-finals and final will be held at Wembley

Michel Platini announces Bucharest as one of the 13 host cities for the 2020 European Championship

Euro 2020: Travel guide - Where should you go if Wembley isn't for you?

From Amsterdam to Baku, we give you the best alternative cities to enjoy the 2020 European Championships

FA chairman Greg Dyke

Euro 2020: Wembley awarded final as FA chairman Greg Dyke admits: 'We are delighted - it's nice to win one!'

Dyke was joined by England manager Roy Hodgson in Geneva to see London awarded the final and semi-finals of the 2020 European Championships

The Stadiums that will host the 2020 European Championships

Euro 2020: The 13 cities that will host the Euro 2020 Championship

Wembley was awarded the final, but who joins them in hosting the first pan-continent major international tournament?

Twelve of the winning bidders will each host three group matches

Euro 2020: Football's coming home as Uefa award Wembley semi-finals and finals for Euros

Wembley beat off competition from Munich's Allianz Arena and will host the 2020 European Championship final

Roy Hodgson

England move up two places in Fifa world rankings after wins against Norway and Switzerland

Three Lions had been in their lowest position since March 1996

A view of Wembley Stadium

Wembley becomes favourite to host Euro 2020 semi-finals and final

Uefa plans to have the tournament take place across Europe

Wales players celebrate Gareth Bale's goal against Andorra as fans run onto the pitch

Wales face Uefa investigation after fan pitch invasion following Gareth Bale's late winner against Andorra

Uefa have started legal proceedings after supporters ran onto the pitch to celebrate Bale's 81st-minute free-kick

A view of Hampden Park

Scottish independence may see Euro 2020 bid 're-assessed' by Uefa

The Scottish FA has submitted a bid for Glasgow's Hampden Park to host a number of games


Neymar misses open goal from just three yards out in Brazil's win against Ecuador

Brazil eventually won 1-0 in the USA

England supporters

The FA confident England fans will be on best behaviour during November friendly against Scotland

Referendum on Scottish independence could see increased tension

Gareth Bale

Andorra vs Wales: Lionel Messi is the 'only other player in the world' who can do what Gareth Bale does, says Chris Coleman

Bale scored stunning late free-kick for Wales to beat minnows

Chelsea striker Diego Costa and Spain aren't working, but will they ever admit it?

The former Atletico Madrid striker has failed to score in five games for Spain

Gareth Bale scores a late winner for Wales from a free-kick on the controversial artificial surface in Andorra

Andorra vs Wales match report: Gareth Bale helps Wales find feet after Andorra’s shock lead

Andorra 1 (Lima 6 pen), Wales 2 (Bale 22, 81)

Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Craig Cathcart celebrates scoring for Watford
Watford 1 Bournemouth 1: Defender strikes late to salvage a point as Martinez confirms Garcia is on the mend
Fighting Kit Fulham caretaker manager Kit Symons urges his players
Fulham 0 Blackburn 1: Cottagers desperately searching for first win
Kenny Jackett
Wolves 1 Bolton 0: Wolves continue renaissance at pace
A view of Hampden Park
Euro 2020: The semi-finals and final will be held at Wembley
FA chairman Greg Dyke
COMMENTJust when the state-of-the-art, behind-the-times Fifa Watch(™) was to be unveiled
Staff at Manchester Dogs' Home are convinced that Liverpool striker made an anonymous five-figure donation after tragic fire
A section of Partizan fans display an anti-semitic banner during the club's Europa League match between Partizan and Tottenham Hotspur
Partizan Belgrade 0 Tottenham 0: Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino described the banner as 'unacceptable' and Partizan have already apologised for it
Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher
Former England team-mates have aimed digs at each others accents, but does anyone know what they're on about?
Tottenham defender also fined £50,000 for his support of the Frenchman after his controversial 'Quenelle' gesture
Clint Dempsey
VIDEO USA captain helps launch league's new logo and FIFA 15
Gutierrez and Sagna battle for the ball
The Newcastle defender revealed this week that he has undergone treatment for testicular cancer
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
VIDEO...and falls into a giant hole

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam