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Rediff.com  » Sports » World Cup Player of the Day: Magical Goetze eclipses Messi

World Cup Player of the Day: Magical Goetze eclipses Messi

July 14, 2014 07:47 IST

World Cup Player of the Day: Magical Goetze eclipses Messi

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Mario Goetze's superb extra-time volley sealed a fourth World Cup for Germany with a 1-0 win over Argentina in a thrilling final on Sunday as they became the first European team to triumph on South American soil.

PHOTOS: Super Mario stunner guides Germany to World Cup glory

A thunderous third final meeting between Germany, 7-1 conquerors of Brazil in the last four, and bitter rivals Argentina was settled by a stunning goal from substitute Goetze befitting of such an outstanding tournament.

Complete coverage of the football World Cup

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Image: Mario Goetze of Germany kisses the World Cup trophy after defeating Argentina 1-0
Photographs: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

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With only seven minutes remaining, and the game seemingly headed for penalties, Andre Schuerrle escaped down the left and sent in a spinning cross that 22-year-old Goetze controlled on his chest before slamming the ball past keeper Sergio Romero.

The magical strike meant Germany broke the South American stranglehold on World Cups held in the Americas, and Goetze became the first substitute to score the winner in the final.

The result also left Argentina forward Lionel Messi without the title he so craved to crown his glittering career.

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Image: Mario Goetze of Germany celebrates scoring his team's first goal in extra time
Photographs: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

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Argentina could have broken the deadlock in the first period of extra time when exhausted defender Mats Hummels allowed substitute Rodrigo Palacio a chance to score but Neuer came out fast and the forward lobbed his effort wide.

The decisive moment was not far away, however, and it gave the World Cup a fitting finale.

Goetze took the ball down on his chest brilliantly from Schuerrle's cross and sweetly fired home the 171st goal of the tournament to equal the record set in France in 1998.

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Image: Mario Goetze of Germany celebrates with girlfriend Ann-Kathrin Brommel
Photographs: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

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"All of Germany is world champion now," the winners' immense goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said after the Germans added the title to West Germany's triumphs of 1954, 1974 and 1990.

Only Brazil, with five World Cups, have won the trophy more times.

"We're going to celebrate for at least five weeks now. At some point we'll stop celebrating but we'll always keep waking up with a smile," Neuer added.

It will be a richly deserved smile.


Image: Mario Goetze, Miroslav Klose of Germany and sons celebrate after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time
Photographs: Martin Rose/Getty Images

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