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

Wayne Rooney (left) and Raheem Sterling during England training

Switzerland vs England preview: Wayne Rooney feels Raheem Sterling can carry England into the future

Captain full of praise for Liverpool’s ‘fantastic’ winger who he compares to the Dutch player Marc Overmars

Thomas Muller opens the scoring for Germany
Jordan Henderson could miss England's Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland

Switzerland vs England: Jordan Henderson injury adds to England’s problems

The Liverpool midfielder hurt his left ankle in training

Gareth Bale believes Wales can qualify for their first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup

Andorra vs Wales preview: Confident Gareth Bale shrugs off fears on Andorra's 3G pitch

Euro 2016 qualifier takes place on Tuesday

Aiden McGeady celebrates scoring the winning goal in Georgia
Roy Hodgson shows off his close control at St George’s Park
Xherdan Shaqiri in action for Switzerland

Switzerland vs England: Can Swiss make the most of golden generation?

Switzerland has a population of eight million, winter sports are as popular as football, the average attendance of the top 20 teams in their domestic league system is around 7,000. So how is it they are top 10 in the Fifa rankings and were a minute from taking Argentina to a penalty shoot-out for a place in the World Cup quarter-finals?

England goalkeeper Ray Clemence is beaten as Claudio Sulser scores Switzerland’s second goal in their 2-1 win in Basel on 30 May, 1981

Switzerland vs England: It can't be as ugly for England as Basel '81

Glenn Moore remembers a previous visit to Switzerland that was marred by riots, defeat and a manager trying to quit

Wayne Rooney looks back on the World Cup as a disaster

Switzerland vs England: World Cup failure was the worst moment of my career, says Wayne Rooney

The new captain has struggled to shake off the misery of England's poor display in Brazil and is determined it won't happen again
Hodgson giving the players plenty of sewer invective during a lacklustre drill

Roy Hodgson turning the air blue? It's good to know the England manager has a pulse after all

The eff word? Expletives? Yes, Roy Hodgson pleads guilty. Unapologetically so. He even swears in front of the missus. At last we are seeing vital signs from an England coach thought too cautious and dull. Here is a bloke that gets angry, that dishes it out, that stands his corner. Hooray.

Cutting edge: Danny Welbeck, who has made no secret of his preference for the No 9 shirt, knows that he must deliver for England

Switzerland vs England: Give me the No 9 shirt and I'll answer the call, says Danny Welbeck

'I've never had a constant run in the team up front, but I have faith in my ability,' claims Arsenal's new striker
O'Neill is aware that failure will carry a high price

Hungary vs Northern Ireland: Michael O'Neill's job on the line if his team fail

Michael O'Neill is upbeat about Northern Ireland's Euro 2016 prospects but accepts he could be out of a job if he oversees a poor campaign. O'Neill's side start their Group F journey in Hungary this evening looking to banish a disappointing fifth-placed finish in World Cup qualifying and take advantage of an inviting draw.

Top man: Joachim Löw (right) has a healthy regard for Scotland

Germany vs Scotland: Scots don't play British way, says Joachim Löw

Gordon Strachan is not the only manager talking up Scotland's chances against the world champions in Dortmund. The Germany manager, Joachim Löw, believes Scotland will pose a serious threat in today's European Championship qualifier because they are on form and "have nothing to lose".

Hat-trick hero? Robbie Keane is hoping to make his third major finals

Georgia vs Republic of Ireland preview: Keane calls on Republic team-mates to believe

Robbie Keane has urged the Republic of Ireland not to pass up the opportunity to book their place in the extended Euro 2016 finals as they prepare for tomorrow's opening qualifier against Georgia in Tblisi.

Switzerland vs England: Wayne Rooney left to reflect on captaincy debut but England skipper has eyes only for Swiss

Rooney had to face up after England's lacklustre performances after their World Cup embarrassment was the 'worst moment in football' for the striker

Wayne Rooney
Premier League: Manchester United face familiar problems, don't question Arsene Wenger and the Eagles continue to soar
Fifa Executive Committee member Theo Zwanziger
2022 World Cup: German Theo Zwanziger has made the bold claim that he believes the World Cup will be moved away from Qatar
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
Liverpool striker's mocking of Man United was met with a string of racist and abusive messages
Alessandro Florenzi hugs his grandmother in the stands before picking up the booking
Alessandro Florenzi must have thought it couldn't have got any worse...then his club fined him
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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