A thrilling World Cup packed full of stunning goals came to an end last night when Germany beat Argentina at the Maracana in Brazil to be crowned world champions for the fourth time.
Here, we look at five of the best strikes in the tournament. Have we left any out?
ROBIN VAN PERSIE (Holland) v Spain, June 13, Salvador
Holland were 1-0 down to reigning champions Spain until Van Persie leapt up in the air to head Daley Blind’s long ball past Iker Casillas. Holland went on to beat Spain 5-1 in one of the biggest shocks of the tournament. The acrobatic header sparked an online craze known as “Persieing” which involved fans recreating the landing that followed Van Persie’s swan-dive header.
TIM CAHILL (Australia) v Holland, June 18, Porto Alegre
Just 60 seconds after Arjen Robben had put the Dutch ahead, Ryan McGowan launched a 40-yard diagonal pass over two defenders and Cahill, without a moment of hesitation, fired a first-time volley past Jasper Cillessen and in off the underside of the bar. Sadly for Cahill, Holland ran out 3-2 winners.
LIONEL MESSI (Argentina) v Iran, June 21, Belo Horizonte
Iran, ranked 43rd in the world, looked set to secure a shock draw against the South Americans after a backs-to-the-wall display in the Estadio Mineirao. Messi had other ideas, though. In the 91st minute the Argentina captain picked the ball up off Ezequiel Lavezzi and fired a peach of a shot into the top corner to give Argentina the win. One jubilant Argentinian commentator reacted to the goal by spontaneously yelling “Gollll” 13 times into his microphone.
JAMES RODRIGUEZ (Colombia) v Uruguay, June 28, Rio de Janeiro
Rodriguez underlined his status as one of the stars of the World Cup with this stunner against Uruguay. Abel Aguilar nodded Alvaro Pereira’s clearance towards Rodriguez. He cushioned the ball on his chest, swivelled towards goal and then let fly with a brilliant 25-yard volley which went in off the underside of the bar. Messi was so impressed he described the goal as a “work of art”.
DAVID LUIZ (Brazil) v Colombia, July 4, Fortaleza
After a pulsating first half, Brazil’s 1-0 lead in Fortaleza was looking vulnerable until James Rodriguez gave a foul away with a lunge on Hulk. Luiz then stepped up and struck a 35-yard drive right into the top corner. Explaining how he came to strike the ball so well, the Brazilian said after the 2-1 win: “I think it’s my genetics.”