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 World Cup video


Kevin Grosskreutz shows off his World Cup tattoo even though he didn't play a minute in Brazil

Germany midfielder Kevin Grosskreutz shows off his World Cup tattoo - even though he didn't play a minute in Brazil

The Germany squad member added the World Cup trophy to his existing tattoos but spent all seven matches for Germany sitting on the bench

Sepp Blatter reveals Russia as the hosts of the 2018 tournament

World Cup 2018: MPs join Nick Clegg call for Russia to be axed as hosts over shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17

Douglas Alexander, the shadow Foreign Secretary, urges world football’s authority, Fifa, to begin contingency planning

Sepp Blatter reveals Russia as the hosts of the 2018 tournament

World Cup 2018: Russia should be axed as hosts after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, says Nick Clegg

Deputy Prime Minister calls on Russia to be stripped of the right to host the football tournament

Frank Lampard is presented as a New York City FC player

Frank Lampard joins New York City FC: MLS's newest recruit remains hush on whether he will call time on his England career

36-year-old Lampard has completed a transfer to the newest MLS club but is yet to announce whether he will remain available for his country

Bryan Robson said England are 'way off' winning a major tournament

England just don’t have the quality, says former captain Bryan Robson

And he also believes it will take time before any world-class players emerge from the ranks

Fifa President Sepp Blatter speaks with FA Chairman Greg Dyke last October

A World Cup in England? Not while Sepp Blatter is in power, says Greg Dyke

FA chairman calls for root-and-branch reform of Fifa, but also explained why that would be impossible

Dunga was relieved of his duties after arriving back in Brazil after the 2010 tournament

Brazil appoint Dunga to replace Luiz Felipe Scolari and begin rebuilding process

The 1994 World Cup winning captain coached the national team at the 2010 World Cup in which they reached the quarter-finals

Steven Gerrard has admitted he would be willing to help Roy Hodgson pick out the next England captain if he seeked his advice

Steven Gerrard retires: Former England skipper ready and willing to help Roy Hodgson pick his next captain if the Three Lions manager comes calling

Gerrard announced his retirement from international football after a 14 years career with England

Steven Gerrard celebrates his goal in the 5-1 win over Germany, one of his England highlights

Steven Gerrard retires: Captain calls time on England career of frustrated ambition

A player with Gerrard’s gifts could have expected more of England

1 September 2001: Gerrard scores his first England goal- the second in a historic 5-1 win over Germany in Munich. In an all-Liverpool affair, the other goals came from Emile Heskey and a Michael Owen hat-trick

Steven Gerrard retires: The Liverpool player's best games for England

A look back on his greatest games from among his 114 caps

Steven Gerrard speaks to the media alongside Roy Hodgson

Steven Gerrard retires: Who will be the next England captain?

Roy Hodgson must pick a replacement following Gerrard's announcement

Steven Gerrard announces retirement: England captain retires from international football after World Cup failure

Gerrard brings the curtain down on an international career that saw him amass 114 caps for the Three Lions

Robin van Persie's brilliant header has been transformed into a piece of street art in a Brazilian favela

Robin van Persie's diving header against Spain turned into street art in a Brazilian favela

Brilliant header has been painted onto the walls as a reminder

Vicente del Bosque was not willing to be bold enough when it came to dropping declining players

World Cup 2014: Pepe Reina admits his 'delight' after Vicente del Bosque announces he will remain in charge of Spain national team

The World Cup winner will stay on as Spain coach despite their dismal showing in Brazil that saw them eliminated in the group stages

Andre Schurrle enjoys a water jet-pack while on a post-World Cup holiday

Andre Schurrle proves he can 'walk on water' as he enjoys post-World Cup holiday

Chelsea midfielder takes to the sky on a water jet-pack as he enjoys holiday with his girlfriend

News
Ravel Morrison has been charged with the assault of two women
West Ham midfielder will attend court today
Sport
Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura sprays a line after calling for a free kick for Brazil
The spray proved to be a massive hit for referees, players and supporters alike at the Brazil World Cup
Sport
VIDEOWatch the bizarre incident prior to Roma's 1-0 win over Real Madrid last night
Sport
Follow my leader: Jack Wilshere listens to manager Arsène Wenger
Which coincides very nicely with advert showing FA Cup win over Liverpool
Sport
Gareth Bale pictured in Los Angeles last week wearing the alice band
Gareth Bale follows Beckham, Ronaldo and, erm, Barton by sporting the questionable headwear
Sport
Jérémy Mathieu (right) trains with his new teammates at Burton
Reputations will count for nothing as new manager looks to reclaim their lost supremacy in Spain and Europe
Sport
13-year association with Nike to come to an end at the conclusion of the season
Sport
Reports suggest ransom was paid
Sport
Ashley Cole with his new team-mates
PICTURE Hilarious image quickly spreads on social media

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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star