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.
Manuel Neuer hailed an “unbelievable” moment as Germany won the World Cup.
“It is unbelievable,” Neuer, who won the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper in the tournament, was quoted as saying by kicker.de
“The team has done superbly, not only the players, but also the team behind the team. At some point we will stop celebrating, but we will always stand up again with a smile.”
Captain Philipp Lahm added: “What we have done and how we have worked is incredible.”