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 watches as England manager Roy Hodgson addresses the media

England v Norway: We need to win the fans back, admits Wayne Rooney

As the striker prepares to lead the Three Lions he admits Radamel Falcao deal may mean he plays deeper at Manchester United

Wayne Rooney together with Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere

England vs Norway: Wayne Rooney looks to 'start of a new chapter' with England

The Manchester United striker is preparing to wear the armband for the first time since being appointed captain

Jordan Henderson has just 13 caps but is being spoken about as a future England captain

Jordan Henderson: it’s time for the kids to step forward for England

Midfielder says new generation can replace Gerrard and Lampard

United’s £27m summer signing Luke Shaw will be out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury

Luke Shaw fitness: Louis van Gaal criticises Roy Hodgson for public comments on Manchester United defender

The England manager spoke of how the youngster can improve his fitness

Gary Lineker bemoans lack of 'natural leaders' for England - but backs appointment of Wayne Rooney as captain

The former England international says Roy Hodgson had little choice in appointing Rooney

Luke Shaw in action during Manchester United's pre-season

England manager Roy Hodgson lectures Luke Shaw over fitness issues

United manager Van Gaal had said Shaw was not fit enough

England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung

Wayne Rooney has been named as England's new captain
Calum Chambers is unveiled as an Arsenal player

England squad announcement: The new faces - including Calum Chambers and Jack Colback

Roy Hodgson has named a raft of new players

Wayne Rooney talks to the media during a press conference

Wayne Rooney: The Manchester United striker's seven most un-captain like moments

The Manchester United striker is now the skipper for both club and country

Calum Chambers has been named in England's squad
A view of Wembley Stadium

FA considering a bid for Euro 2028 - and hope Wembley will host Euro 2020 final

Munich are standing against Wembley to host the final of the 2020 tournament

Frank Lampard will captain England against Ecuador

Frank Lampard retirement: The embodiment of the 'golden generation' departs - so will he be remembered as a success?

The former Chelsea midfielder has called time on his international career after 106 caps

Lampard in Brazil

Frank Lampard retires from England: Former Chelsea midfielder calls time on international career

Lampard, who is currently on loan at Manchester City, won 106 caps

Steven Gerrard backs Wayne Rooney to be next England captain

The Manchester United striker is the favourite for the role

Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
Liverpool striker's mocking of Man United was met with a string of racist and abusive messages
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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