World Cup 2014: The best moments from Brazil

The Independent’s team of writers make their individual choices for the best moments of the World Cup in Brazil

It's been a fantastic month of football littered with brilliant matches. Our writers select their favourite moments of the tournament.

SAM WALLACE - chief football writer

Ultimately, the World Cup is about winning, and the team that makes history. So, for all the great subplots and surprises, nothing, in my view, tops the final and the trophy presentation, however dreary or cautious the game might be. As for the little curiosities that crop up over the course of the games, I did like the moment the Brazilian fans started applauding the Germans in the second half of the semi-final.

IAN HERBERT - football correspondent

Lionel Messi’s last-minute winner, Argentina v Iran

This was not a side holding on but one threatening to win through Mehrdad Pooladi and Reza Ghoochannejhad, before Lionel Messi defeated the presence of five defenders to score in the 90th minute.

GLENN MOORE - football editor

Daniel Sturridge’s goal for England against Italy

Made on the counter-attack by a marvellous through ball from Sterling, and a gorgeous weaker-footed cross by Wayne Rooney, it showed what Roy Hodgson’s young England are aiming at. We did not see enough of it, but the potential may be there.


JACK PITT-BROOKE - football writer

Louis van Gaal’s late  turnaround

With Holland on the brink against Mexico in the draining heat, Louis Van Gaal turned the game back their way. He switched to 4-3-3 to pin the Mexican defence back, and threw on Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for Robin van Persie. Huntelaar set up the last-minute equaliser and scored the added-time winner.

TIM RICH - football writer

The final whistle in Recife when Costa Rica’s players collapsed to the floor, having beaten Italy, eliminated England and ensured with a game to spare that they were the unlikeliest survivors from the group of death.

SIMON HART - football writer

Clint Dempsey in the mixed zone after US’s loss to Belgium telling me how, as a schoolboy in Texas, an old VHS tape of Mexico 86 had opened his eyes to the world’s obsession with football. It summed up how far he – and US soccer – had travelled, even in defeat.

MIGUEL DELANEY - football writer

Messi’s goal against Iran

A spectacular stoppage-time winner is stunning enough in itself, but this also encapsulated so many different storylines and foreshadowed what was to follow. With Argentina far from convincing, and with Messi nowhere near his best, he still emphasised his genius. In the very tightest of margins,  he produced maximum  quality.