10 Things We Learned from the World Cup Final

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1. The starting XI doesn’t decide the game. It’s the subs bench that wins the day. Germany lost Sami Khedira before kick off, but were still so deep with talent that they brought Andre Schürrle and Mario Götze off the bench. It’s no coincidence that those are the two players who combined for Germany’s World Cup-winning goal.

2. Speaking of Schürrle and Götze, when those two players made their Germany debut together in November 2010, they became the first players born in reunified Germany to represent the reunified German national team. Fitting, then, that it was Schürrle and Götze who combined to win Germany’s first World Cup since reunification.

3. Manuel Neuer is the best goalkeeper in the world. Hands down. Or hands up. Or even hands way outside the area but it doesn’t matter because Neuer seems to be better with his feet than most defenders.

4. Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, Euro 2012 and now World Cup 2014 have all been won by a team drawing its core group of players from a team coached by Pep Guardiola.

5. Turns out there is a way stop Thomas Muller from doing his corner kick magic trick where he disappears from his marker only to reappear in acres of space. Marcos Rojo worked out that you just need to grab on to Muller’s jersey, really tight, and never let go.

6. This feels like the beginning of an era of German dominance. Miroslav Klose may be 36 years old, but you can bet the majority of this team will be back for Euro 2016 in France.

7. Argentina go home having played in seven World Cup games and only trailed for seven minutes.

8. If anyone tries to tell you that Leo Messi has failed to deliver on the world’s biggest stage, show that person the picture of Messi holding the the Golden Ball for best player.

9. If anyone tries to tell you that European teams are at a disadvantage when the tournament takes place in South America, show that person the picture of Philipp Lahm lifting the Word Cup. And the video of Germany smashing Brazil in the semi-final.

10. Gonzalo Higuain probably wishes he could have a World Cup Final do-over. If he’s ever seen Groundhog Day, he’ll go to sleep tonight thinking/hoping that maybe, just maybe, he’ll wake up tomorrow and it will be July 13 all over again.

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