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FIFA World Cup 2014: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Last updated on: July 16, 2014 15:57 IST

FIFA World Cup 2014: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Rediff Sports Desk

Now that the World Cup is over, we take a look at the good, bad and ugly moments in the month-long football extravaganza.

The Good

The fans

Wild wigs, flashy face paint was all over as fans showed their team spirit watching the World Cup in Brazil. They came in huge numbers as expected.  Even the local Brazilians were cheering not only for their team but also others which made it exciting.

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Image: Fans cheer
Photographs: Yves Herman/Reuters
Tags: FIFA , Brazil

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FIFA World Cup 2014: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Mario Goetze's World Cup-winning goal

Football fans will never forget this one. Substitute Mario Goetze etched his name in history by scoring the all-important goal in the 113th minute of an engrossing final against Argentina.

He combined with another substiture, Andre Schürrle, to dash Argentine dreams at the iconic Maracana stadium and leave the Germans, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, ecstatic.

With the game heading for the penalty-shoot-out, Schurrle tore down the left flank and floated the ball into the Argentine box, where Goetze took it on his chest before placing it into the back of the net with his left foot past keeper Sergio Romero.

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Image: Mario Goetze of Germany slips the ball past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero in the World Cup final
Photographs: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

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FIFA World Cup 2014: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Klose's record breaking feat

He was the lone striker in the German line-up. 

And at 36, Miroslav Klose was never expected to play a whole match.

That said, he was supposed to make a difference.

And that he did.

His equaliser against Ghana helped him equal Ronaldo's record of 15 goals. And his effort against Brazil meant he had the record all for himself. 

With that, Miroslav Klose ensured he left behind a lasting legacy in what was definitely his last World Cup.

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Image: Miroslav Klose
Photographs: Getty Images

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The Flying Dutchman

One of the brilliant efforts early on in the tournament, Robin van Persie's diving header marked the start of the elimination of the defending champions. 

Spain led by a goal till that point, and the Dutch rarely looked threatening. 

However, they found the equaliser when Van Persie found a probing diagonal pass by Daley Blind. 

The Netherlands, thereafter, toyed with the Spanish defense, eventually winning 5-1.

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Image: Robin van Persie of the Netherlands scores the team's first goal with a diving header against Spain in Salvador
Photographs: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

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FIFA World Cup 2014: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Louis van Gaal’s masterstroke

It was a tactical masterstroke. 

It came at at a time least expected.

It completely shocked the opposition and ensured their eventual exit.

With the Netherlands vs Costa Rica match destined for penalties, Dutch coach Louis van Gaal made a bold move. With seconds remaining of extra-time, he substituted goalkeeper Jesper Cillesen with Tim Krul. 

The Newcastle player, who had saved just two of his 20 penalties for his club, made two saves in the shoot-out to ensure his team a semi-final berth and vindicate his coach's decision.

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Image: Dutch coach Louis van Gaal with Tim Krul
Photographs: Getty Images

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FIFA World Cup 2014: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez is the find of the tournament. Period!

The Colombian emerged the tournament's highest goalscorer with six goals, a lot considering his team didn't make it beyond the quarter-final. 

One of the Monaco star's best effort came in the last 16 clash against former champions Uruguay.

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Image: James Rodriguez
Photographs: Getty Images

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Guillermo Ochoa

Much of Mexico's success in the tournament owed to one player, their goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. 

Ochoa let in just one goal in the group phase and was particularly impressive in El Tri's second match against hosts Brazil.

It took a brilliant effort from Wesley Sneijder to break his resolve in the dying minutes of the last 16 clash.

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Image: Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa
Photographs: Getty Images

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FIFA World Cup 2014: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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The Bad

Pepe’s red card

The controversial Real Madrid defender got himself sent off before halftime in the opening 4-0 defeat by Germany for pushing his head into Thomas Mueller as the forward sat on the ground. Banned for the next game against the United States, Pepe returned for the final match against Ghana but the damage was done and although Portugal beat the African side 2-1, their star-studded team failed to make the last 16.

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Image: Pepe
Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

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FIFA World Cup 2014: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s head-butt

Made headlines when he incredibly attempted to heat-butt team mate Benjamin Moukandjo late in the 4-0 defeat by Croatia. French sports dailyL'Equipe reported that the bust-up continued in the tunnel after the game with Assou-Ekotto throwing a water bottle at his team mate. He was dropped for the following game against Brazil.

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Image: Benoit Assou-Ekotto
Photographs: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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Brazil’s embarrassment

The one result that will be difficult to forget is the 7-1 mauling of Brazil by Germany. 

It is not just about the scoreline. It is about the nature of the defeat. The Germans scored almost at will in the first half.

It was a humiliating result for Brazil, favorites to win, in front of their home fans. 

It completely exposed the weaknesses of Luiz Felipe Scolari's team, something that everyone was talking about before the tournament. 

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Image: Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari after the mauling from Germany in the semi-final
Photographs: Getty Images

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The Ugly

Zuniga’s rough challenge on Neymar

If one player made himself a permanent antagonist if the eyes of the millions of Brazilian fans, it is Juan Zuniga. 

The Colombian's rough challenge on Neymar in the quarter-final ruled the latter out of the tournament. 

We know what happened next.

Right?

The Napoli player later regretted his challenge and Neymar forgave him.

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Image: Juan Zuniga's tackle on Neymar
Photographs: Getty Images

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Suarez’s bite

By now Luis Suarez is acknowledged as a first-rate biter. 

Having faced a 10-match Premier League ban last year, the Uruguayan was up to his antics again. 

His victim, on this occasion, was Italy's Giorgio Chiellini. 

Though he escaped punishment in the match, which Uruguay won to qualify at Italy's expense, FIFA promptly banned him for four months later. 

Suarez later apologized for his action.

However, the punishment was minuscule considering the nature of the offence - the forward ensured himself a lucrative transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona. 


Image: Luis Suarez (left) and Giorgio Chiellini
Photographs: Getty Images

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