As the Final between Germany and Argentina entered the second-period of extra-time, I desperately wanted a goal from either side to settle the contest rather than it go to penalties. The reason? Brazil 2014 has been a memorable tournament and it needed to be sealed with something special.
Thankfully it arrived on 113 minutes, Schurrle (who had done well whenever he came off the bench for the Germans), bustled down the wing before delivering a ball inside where another substitute, Gotze, controlled it beautifully on the chest before volleying home. A wonderful finish to a brilliant competition.
My memories of World Cup Finals stretch back to 1978 and I can’t remember there being a better tournament for the quality of games, the drama and the shocks. Who saw Italy and Spain not making it out of the Groups stages? Did anyone see Portugal being dismantled so easily by the Germans? Costa Rica in the Quarter-Finals?
Of course the competition could so easily have been remembered for the Suarez biting incident, and it therefore needed an even bigger story to wipe away the tawdry behaviour of the disgraced Uruguayan and thankfully it duly arrived as Germany humiliated the host nation Brazil 7-1. That was and will always be a significant moment in football history; nobody who watched it will ever forget it. The Brazilians with the ghost of the 1950 loss to Uruguay embedded into their psyche now have added a skeleton that would fill a mansion never mind a cupboard.
The fear from the media and perhaps even from within the country, was that going into the tournament, Brazil off the pitch was not ready to host the biggest competition in football. The irony is that actually it was on the pitch that Brazil weren’t ready.