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9 Best Moments Of The 2014 World Cup

Paolo Uggetti |
July 15, 2014 | 2:33 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Someone once said that we measure our lives by World Cups. With the prominent event happening every four years, people use the tournament as checkpoints of their lives and every time the date finally comes around, it's disappointing to see it conclude. 

Unfortunately, that time has come. But instead of thinking ahead to Russia 2018 and the four long years of patience that will be required until the next checkpoint in our lives as football fans, let’s appreciate this amazing month of football one more time. 

Here are the 9 best moments of this year’s World Cup, in no particular order:

1. Brazilian National Anthems

The Brazilian National Anthem. (via gfycat.com)
The Brazilian National Anthem. (via gfycat.com)

The passion, the emotion, the intensity. This is how you belt out a national anthem. Every game Brazil played, I think my favorite part would be seeing the players, the crowd and even the kids sing their anthem at the top of their lungs. Literally. National pride was at an all-time high and it was a sight to behold; hopefully Russia took some notes.

2. James Rodriguez’s Wondergoal 

James' Rodriguez and the goal of the tournament. (via @MyRegularFace)
James' Rodriguez and the goal of the tournament. (via @MyRegularFace)

Germany may have won it all, but the most fun team to watch was Colombia by far. Their style of play and choreographed dance celebrations made them must-watch TV. They also boasted the breakout star of the tournament and the Golden Boot winner. Ladies and gentlemen, James Rodriguez.

3. John Brooks’ Game-winner Against Ghana

John Brooks' game-winning header. (via Bleacher Report)
John Brooks' game-winning header. (via Bleacher Report)

It was deja-vu of Landon Donovan’s 2010 goal, but given the stakes, it felt bigger. In total American fashion, the substitute couldn’t even believe he had done it himself. Heck, the whole nation simply lost it. In retrospect, Brooks’ goal was the foundation, if not the reason, for advancing in the Group of Death. John Brooks, forever an American hero. 

4. Messi’s Game-winner Against Iran 

Messi's clutch game-winner. (Twitter/@RadiusWW)
Messi's clutch game-winner. (Twitter/@RadiusWW)

When your the man on your calling card is the best player in the world, you probably have nothing to worry about. That’s exactly how Argentina felt as it could not score on a defensive Iran team for more than 90 minutes. But as he did for much of this tournament, Lionel Messi calmly saved the Argentines in the last minute by unleashing this mind-bending, curling, game-winning shot. Take a bow, Lionel. 

5. BiteGate 3.0 

The bite heard around the world. (via gfycat.com)
The bite heard around the world. (via gfycat.com)

This was as equally amazing as it was unbelievable. We’ve seen punching, shoving and kicking before, but biting has become a Luis Suarez specialty. He had not just done it once, but twice before when playing for his club Liverpool, and this time against Italy’s Chiellini was the final straw. The collective reaction of the world was disbelief and reassurance that this guy is truly something else.

6. The Flying Dutchman 

Van Persie's masterpiece of a goal. (Twitter/@alpn00)
Van Persie's masterpiece of a goal. (Twitter/@alpn00)

You could argue this was the best goal of the tournament, and you'd have a very strong case. Not only was Van Persie’s goal a perfect combination of skill, agility and sheer intelligence, but it was the goal that began the demise of the reigning champions Spain en route to a 5-1 shocker of a result and an early exit. Van Persie’s incredible goal was the score that started it all. 

7. Penalty Kicks 

The two spectrums of penalty kicks. (via @FlyByKnite)
The two spectrums of penalty kicks. (via @FlyByKnite)

As unfair as it may be to end a game on penalty kicks, it certainly adds far more thrilling drama. It’s unnerving and unpredictable, and in this World Cup we had four edge-of-your-seat instances. There was the emotional rollercoaster of Brazil and Chile, the unlikely Costa Rican run, the goalkeeper substitution of Tim Krul that sent the Netherlands to the semis, and then the lack of Tim Krul which may have contributed to an Argentina win and a trip to the final. Penalties may be cruel, but man, are they the best. 

8. Tim Howard, Secretary of Defense

Yes, all of Howard's 16 saves at once. (via @YahooSports)
Yes, all of Howard's 16 saves at once. (via @YahooSports)

In a tournament ruled by incredible goal keeping from the likes of Neuer, Navas, Romero, Ochoa and Julio Cesar, Howard had the best performance of them all. When his team needed him most, Howard not only showed up, but had an out-of-body experience and churned out a record-breaking 16 saves to keep the Americans in the elimination game against Belgium. Prior to the World Cup, we all thought it would be Bradley and Dempsey who would carry this team, but the man who stepped up to the challenge and succeeded was Tim Howard. 

9. The Champions

The World Cup clinching goal by Mario Gotze. (via gfycat.com)
The World Cup clinching goal by Mario Gotze. (via gfycat.com)

Many have stated that this Cup lacked a truly great team. But as unpredictable as it may have been, Germany was far and away the closest thing to consistency and domination we witnessed. From beating Portugal 4-0, to humiliating Brazil 7-1, and finally grinding out a 1-0 win over Argentina to win it all, the Germans were deserved champions.

You can reach Staff Reporter Paolo Uggetti here, or follow him on Twitter



 

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