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Super Mario strikes to give Germany a fourth World Cup
10:55pm Sunday 13th July 2014 in Sport
Germany were crowned world champions for the fourth time thanks to a stunning extra-time winner from super-sub Mario Gotze.
Argentina were preparing for a penalty shoot-out in the Maracana, but in the 113th minute Gotze chested down Andre Schurrle's cross and volleyed home to cap a historic victory for the jubilant Germans.
It will take a while for Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Rodrigo Palacio to forget this defeat.
They were all guilty of missing good chances to give Argentina what would have been a glorious win in the home of their fiercest rivals Brazil.
Tens of thousands of Argentinians had flooded Rio hoping to see Messi inspire his team to their third World Cup win.
This was Messi's chance to put himself on a par with his idol Diego Maradona.
But unlike in 1986, when Maradona captained Argentina to victory against the Germans, this was the Mannschaft's night.
And there would be few who would argue they did not deserve it.
Ever since they swept Portugal aside 4-0 in their opening match, Germany have looked destined to lift the famous trophy inside this famous stadium.
Blessed with talent from one to 23, they are a brutal attacking unit also capable of keeping things tight at the back.
The 7-1 destruction of Brazil in the previous round proved as much.
And in Low they have a coach who has answered his critics by becoming the first man to lead a European team to World Cup glory in South America.