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
Sport
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...
Sport
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
Sport
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


World Cup 2014: Christoph Kramer 'can't remember' final after collision with Ezequiel Garay

Youngster was substituted after after suffering what appeared to be concussion

Mario Gotze's girlfriend: Ann-Katherin Brommel, the 'happiest Wag ot the World Cup'

As it turns out, she’s also a human being. Here’s what we could work out about her from the internet

Germany's Thomas Mueller (R) lifts the trophy beside his teammates after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

World Cup 2014: Germany earn £20m for final win... while players each bag £240,000 bonus

Germans earn biggest share of $576m (£336.7m) World Cup prize fund

Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final

Lionel Messi does not need to win the World Cup to be considered a great, says Jose Mourinho

Messi stumbled at the final hurdle in the defeat to Germany in the Maracana

Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast

Alan Hansen's 22-year Match of the Day career condensed into one two minute video...

Former Liverpool defender called time on his punditry career at the World Cup final

World Cup final referee Nicola Rizzoli sorted out his hair after spotting himself on the big screen

World Cup 2014: Final referee Nicola Rizzoli sorts out his hair after seeing himself on the big screen in the Maracana

Italian official runs a hand through his hair after spotting himself

Mario Gotze kisses the World Cup, Angela Merkel poses with Lukas Podolski, and Lionel Messi walks off the stage after Argentina's defeat

World Cup 2014: Germany vs Argentina breaks new Facebook and Twitter records

Final whistle and Lionel Messi free-kick sparked frenzied activity

Manuel Neuer of Germany holds the Golden Glove trophy as Lionel Messi of Argentina holds the Golden Ball trophy

World Cup 2014: Diego Maradona says Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball because of 'marketing'

Messi handed the Golden Ball despite Argentina losing to Germany in the final

Rio Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker during Hansen's final broadcast

BBC coverage trounces ITV in World Cup final viewing figures

BBC One's coverage attracted 9 million more viewers than ITV's simulcast

Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Russian comedian Vitaly Zdorovetskiy streaks, kisses Benedikt Howedes, takes jail selfie

The notorious prankster stripped off and blew kisses to the crowd as he ran towards several bemused looking players on the pitch

An updated anti-gambling advert issued by the National Council on Problem Gambling in Singapore

World Cup 2014: Anti-gambling advert backfires after it correctly predicts Germany to win the World Cup

'Andy's dad' had put all their savings on Germany, but a quick update made light of the correct prediction and managed to convey the dangers of gambling addictions

Getty

Watch Shakira perform 'La La La' at the World Cup 2014 closing ceremony

Singer was joined on stage by Brazilian singer Carlinhos Brown

Manuel Neuer of Germany holds the Golden Glove trophy as Lionel Messi of Argentina holds the Golden Ball trophy

Germany vs Argentina World Cup final 2014: 'Extraordinary Lionel Messi' deserved to win the Golden Ball, claims Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella

Messi picked up the player of the tournament award despite missing out on the Worldd Cup trophy and not scoring since the group stage, but Sabella has backed the forward for his achievement

Sport
REACTIONThe Italian is close to a £16m move to Liverpool
Sport
Brendan Rodgers looks on from the sidelines
Liverpool boss makes amusing reference to previous denial of the transfer
Sport
Mario Balotelli strips during City’s 6-1 win at United last season
From chicken hats and fireworks to dealing with bullies and the Queen...
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
Moyes in shock after taking ice bucket challenge
Sport
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew signs a Newcastle fans' shirt on the pre-season tour in New Zealand
VIDEOMario Balotelli, Everton vs Arsenal and other talking points
Sport
Barcelona have pinned their hopes on Luis Suarez giving them an edge in stemming the Real Madrid tide
COMMENTPete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect Barcelona
Sport
England forward Lianne Sanderson celebrates after scoring the fourth England goal during the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup Group 6 Qualifier between Wales and England at Cardiff City Stadium on August 21, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales
MATCH REPORT4-0 victory over Wales secures place at next year's finals
Sport
Joey Barton signs a baby’s shirt at QPR’s open day
The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Sport
Portsmouth players Jack Whatmough (left) has claimed he 'looks nothing like' Arsenal's Jack Wilshere
What do you think?
Sport
A Dutch newspaper has apologised to Johan Cruyff after bogus report that claimed he was dead went viral
Volkskrant apologises to Cruyff and blames 'stupid mistake'
Sport
Sunday League team Malsters Arms FC forced to fold because they played at Cardiff City Stadium on a Wednesday
...because they played at Cardiff City Stadium on a Wednesday
Sport
Iker Casillas hilariously snubbed by Real Madrid team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa
VIDEOAlvaro Arbeloa ignored goalkeeper last night as feud continues
Sport
<p>Nani (10 appearances, 1 goal):</p> Either brilliant or poor and seems like his manager has lost patience. A single goal in a below-par return from a major attacking threat. 6
TRANSFER TALK The hugely talented Luis Nani has finally left Manchester United after failing to live up to the massive potential he so sporadically displayed

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Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
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Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

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