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The Flying Dutchman: Robin Van Persie The Flying Dutchman Robin Van PersieWhen Robin van Persie sent himself launching through the air for the Netherlands against Spain, he spawned one of the goals of the tournament, a social media craze and a dramatic, unexpected, completely comprehensive Dutch comeback.

His flying leap to divert Daley Blind’s 40-yard cross from deep looped over Iker Casillas and made it 1-1 in the group-stage game before the Netherlands went on to win 5-1.

 

Luis Suarez Bite on Giorgio Chiellini

Luis Suarez Bite on Giorgio ChielliniAfter guiding Uruguay to a great 2-1 win over England, Suarez became from hero to zero as he pulled off another bite but this time on the world stage when billions are watching.

He tried to deny it, but ultimately the video doesn’t lie. Luis Suarez bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, earning him a 4-month ban from all competitions.

 

Tim Howard’s Record-Breaking Performance Against Belgium

Tim Howard's Record-Breaking Performance Against BelgiumAll kinds of records were broken during the 2014 World Cup, and United States goalkeeper Tim Howard was one of those whose name was going into the history books.

A phenomenal performance in the round-of-16 game against Belgium saw Howard make 16 saves during the 120 minutes, more than any other goalkeeper in the history of the World Cup in a single match.

 

The Entire Brazil vs. Chile Round-of-16 Game

The Entire Brazil vs. Chile Round-of-16 GameSome matches cannot be dissected and pulled apart, searching for a crucial moment or instance, without losing the entire ethos of what made it so eminently watchable.

Brazil vs. Chile, in the first knockout stage, was exactly such a match.

 

Costa Rica Sweeping All Before Them Costa Rica Sweeping All Before ThemWhen the groups were drawn for the finals, most people could predict one team who might progress from each of the eight quartets and, in many cases, one who would definitely not go through.

Costa Rica were the vast majority’s choice for finishing bottom of Group D—but they improbably beat previous winners Uruguay and Italy and drew against England, ending top of the group.

They then made their way past Greece in the last 16, only finally seeing an end to their record-breaking resilience as the Netherlands eliminated them on penalties in the quarter-finals.

 

James Rodriguez’s rise to the World Stage

James Rodriguez's rise to the World StageThe world fell in love with James Rodriguez in the 2014 World Cup, and for good reason. He ended up winning the Golden Boot, and because every moment was just as fun as the last, and for that, we’re just going to lump them all into one.

The Colombian international scored six goals, including at least one in every single match he played in the tournament. He braved the host country and massive bugs, and passed every test he faced.

He gave us a ridiculous volley against Uruguay, insane footwork against Japan, and tears after losing to Brazil, all which made us fall that much more in love with him. With a move to Real Madrid likely in his future, Rodriguez won the hearts of the world.

 

Miroslav Klose Makes World Cup History

Miroslav Klose Makes World Cup HistoryMiroslav Klose came into the World Cup just one goal behind the all-time record scorer, Ronaldo, for goals at the World Cup finals.

In a 2-2 draw with Ghana, he equaled the record, scoring moments after coming on as sub. Then he knocked home Germany’s second in the semi-final against Brazil to claim the new record in his own right.

With 16 goals spread over four World Cup finals, Klose made history and went on to help win the World Cup final itself, the biggest prize of all.

 

Tim Krul’s Substitute Appearance Tim Krul's Substitute AppearanceCall it genius, call it lucky, or call it stupidity that came through, but Louis van Gaal produced a memorable moment when he switched goalkeepers just before the Netherlands penalty shootout against Costa Rica.

Then, after watching the Costa Ricans look so clinical in their penalty shootout the previous round, Krul made two beastly saves and made his manager look really, really good.

 

Mario Goetze wins the World Cup in extra time

Mario Goetze wins the World Cup in extra timeif you remember, Germany won the World Cup some time ago. And it’s hard to imagine a moment bigger than winning the World Cup on a goal in extra time. That’s what Mario Goetze did in the 113th minute of a 0-0 game. It was an absolutely brilliant goal, with a wondrous setup from Andre Schurrle and an even better finish from the 22-year-old that saw him chest down the ball coming hard at him and blast a precise and powerful volley past Sergio Romero.

The goal will no doubt write the young star into German history, and there’s not much more to be said for this one. His goal won the World Cup. That’s about as good as it gets.

 

Germany annihilates Brazil 7-1 Germany annihilates Brazil 7-1The World Cup semi-final: a traditionally tight, tense, cagey affair.

Brazil vs. Germany: the scene of a massacre.

It took 11 minutes for the European side to breach the hosts’ defence, and fewer than 20 minutes later a one-goal deficit had become a five-goal embarrassment.

Germany ripped apart Brazil’s fragile, unprotected defence; showed fast, attacking football to remain the most thrilling spectacle in the game; and sauntered through to the final itself with an eventual 7-1 win.

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