Germany won the World Cup. Host Brazil won a world of new friends. The now four-time world champions, the first European team to win it on South American soil, earned the honour of lifting the most recognised trophy in sports with a tooth-and-nail 1-0 victory in a final as terrifically entertaining as the tournament itself. For a 32-day showcase of football at its best, the winning goal was beautifully appropriate. Mario Goetze controlled the ball with his chest and then volleyed it into the Argentine goal, making difficult skills look so simple. Scored in the 113th minute, the mortal blow left Argentina too little time to recover. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, seated in the VIP section with other world leaders, waved a clenched fist as Goetze celebrated. When referee Nicola Rizzoli blew the final whistle a few minutes later, Vladimir Putin reached across and shook Merkel’s hand. The Russian president’s country hosts the next World Cup in 2018.