What stood out at the FIFA 2014 World Cup?

After 31 days of sensational football, surprise packages and samba music, Germany have been crowned the winners of the 2014 World Cup, and what a tournament it has been. 

After 31 days of sensational football, surprise packages and samba music, Germany have been crowned the winners of the 2014 World Cup, and what a tournament it has been. From our new found love for the American team to more Luis Suarez controversy, we’ve seen some memorable moments that will ensure that this is one of the best World Cups we are likely to see in our lifetime.

Here are just a few of the things that have made us laugh, cry and shake our heads in disbelief…

Clinical German efficiency

Germany have been excellent during their World Cup campaign and have showed us yet another example of how some simple engineering in all of the right places makes for fantastic football. Their team was full of bright, energetic and youthful players who have been cultivated from a young age to become world-beaters.

Schurrle and Gotze, who worked together to provide the stunning goal that sealed the win for them had been on the radar of Joachim Loew well before the start of the 2010 tournament. They were part of a unit that had been specifically designed to do what needed to be done, which was the first World Cup win for a unified Germany and if a clog in that machine broke, it was easily fixed by a part that could do the job with the same effect.

Games that shook the world

Two matches from this tournament stand out like a sore thumb; Spain 1-5 Holland and Brazil 1-7 Germany and not because they contained a lot of goals, but for the impact that they had. Spain came into this tournament whilst going through a noticeable transition period that was taking them away from world dominance but it became so much clearer when Holland tore through them in the opening game of Group B to leave them shaken and stirred.

Hosts of the World Cup, Brazil found themselves under a lot of pressure from the start and didn’t play their best football before their semi-final thrashing at the hands of Germany.

Neymar was left to carry his side on his shoulders before a back injury meant that his tournament was over prematurely and Brazil were left to do it without him, which they couldn’t.

The European team battered them to a point where picking themselves back up is going to be a long and tireless process if they’re ever going to reach the top again.

USA + Costa Rica = Interesting surprise packages

Who knew that the USA would dare to live the World Cup dream? Not many, but they did and they gained a host of new fans from doing so. They were exciting, they made our hearts race and our pulses climb and lead us to live the dream with them and although they went out after defeat to Belgium in the last 16, they did it with the bravery and courage that defines their nation.

Group D was always going to be a funny one; with each of the teams demonstrating more negatives than positives, it was difficult to see who would come out on top but  no one really expected Costa Rica to top the group and make it to the quarter-finals.

Their attitude towards this World Cup was phenomenal, they knew that they had nothing to lose by trying to break their opposition down and making them struggle and it worked for them up until the point where they faced the team that wrote the book on doing just that.

Goals, goals, goals

With almost 140 coming in the group stages alone, it’s fair to say that we have seen some sensational goals in the past month. A couple that stick in the mind are Tim Cahill’s sensational volley off his bootlaces against Holland and Gotze’s sensational finish to seal the World Cup for Germany but the one that stands out the most is Colombian player James Rodriguez’s stunning goal to give his side the lead against Uruguay.

Everything about it was just perfect—the way he chest it down from above then turned to find space before smashing it into the back of the net. Rodriguez’s quick thinking and creativity was exceptional and it was this plus five more fantastic goals that sealed him the Golden Boot.

It’s not always about you, Luis

You know a tournament has been exceptional when even some antics from world class biter Luis Suarez can’t even overshadow it. When he sunk his teeth into Giorgio Chiellini, the world thought “here we go again” but FIFA’s surprisingly quick and effective resolution on the matter meant that it was simply a blip that was soon forgotten.

His punishment of a four month ban from all football and a 9 match international bans will hopefully allow him time to think over his actions and not do it again but we’ve said that before, haven’t we?

What do you think? How would you assess the World Cup? Have your say in the comments section below.