After a month long carnival of football it is curtains on FIFA World Cup 2014 as Germany walk away with honours. The mega-event had everything in it from controversies to thrilling matches that had everyone glued to their TV sets. Underdogs progressed while former champions failed to move on as the battle intensified, hosts were eliminated and at last a nation lifted the trophy after 24 years, here is A-Z about the just concluded 20th edition of the World Cup.
A- Algeria advances
It was a moment of pride of Algeria as they progressed to the knock-out stage for the first time. Algeria in their group stage zoomed past Korea Republic and Russia to occupy the second spot.
B- Bite it like Suarez
More than the result between Italy and Uruguay what made it to top news post match was striker Luis Suarez’s infamous act of biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder. Suarez was then handed a four month ban which meant he missed the Uruguay’s round of 16 match against Colombia.
C- Costa Rica vs. champions
Placed in group with former three champions Costa Rica was surprise package to advance to knock-out stages. They knocked over Uruguay and Italy before making it to quarter-finals where Netherlands handed them a defeat on penalties. A heroes welcome greeted them back home.
D- Defending Champions
Spain failed to defend the title and to make it worse were eliminated in the first round after losing poorly 5-1 to Netherlands and then 2-0 to Chile.
E- Entertaining ceremonies
The FIFA World Cup opened and closed with an entertaining affair for audiences. Shakira, pitbull, Jennifer Lopez, Carlos Santana and many others dazzled one and all with their fanciful acts.
F- Fans flowed in
Football crazy fans from all over the world thronged Brazilian cities to ensure every stadium is jam-packed.
G- G for Goetze, G for Goal, G for Germany and G for Glory
Mario Goetze’s lone goal of the match in extra time ended Germany’s 24 years of wait to lift the glorious trophy. Aptly, Germany scored the most number of goals (18) in this World Cup.
H- Howard the super-saver
United States goalkeeper in a round of 16 fixture against Colombia created a Word Cup record of 16 saves in match. He was an instant hit among netizens with memes and hashtags dedicated to him floating in.
I- Intruder invades
Vitaly Zdorovetskiy ran onto the pitch during the final between Germany and Argentina. He had “Natural Born Prankster” written all over his chest. Fans earlier in the tournament also managed to run onto the pitch on couple of occasions.
J- James Rodriguez, man with the golden foot
The 22-year old Colombian striker James Rodriguez was top scorer in the tournament with six goals in five games and was awarded with the Golden Boot.
K- Klose, the living legend
36-year old German striker Miroslav Klose surpassed the former Brazilian super striker Ronaldo’s tally of most goals in World Cup when he netted his 16th goal against Brazil in the semis.
L- Luiz apologizes
After Thiago Silva was suspended for a semi-final clash against Germany David Luiz was the stand-in skipper for hosts. After the drubbing Brazil received Luiz gave a tearful apology to his country.
M- Messi misses
Lionel Messi failed to score against Germany which meant he could not score a goal in the knock-out stages of this World Cup. His all four goals came in the group stage, despite that he was awarded Golden Ball.
N- No Neymar
Neymar was certainly Brazil’s best bet in this World Cup and he seemed to have been coping well with the added pressure of responsibilities, but in a quarter-final clash against Colombia he suffered a fractured Vertebra, thus missed the semi-final against Germany.
O- Old legs around
The 43-year-old Colombian goalie Faryd Mondragon became the oldest player to take part in a World Cup when he came off the bench in a group stage game against Japan.
P- Penalty shootouts
Winner in four matches at this World Cup was decided on penalties. Costa Rica were involved in two of them, winning one and losing one.
Q- Queiroz quits
Iran coach Carlos Queiroz stepped down as the National teams coach after his team was eliminated from the World Cup. However, few reports suggest that he may reconsider his decision.
R- Ramadan fast
During the middle of the tournament the holy month of Muslims Ramadan occurred and Algerian team along with other Muslim players like Karim Benzema had a choice to make, whether to fast or not. Reports later erupted that majority of Algerian players were fasting during their last 16 game against Germany.
S- Seven in the Semi-final
Germany scored seven goals in the semi-final against hosts Brazil and handed them a historic humiliating defeat. Germany netted five quick goals in the opening 30 minutes of the game and that left Brazil supporters at the stadium stunned.
T- Time for Technology
This was for the first time Goal-line technology was being used in the World Cup. In a group-stage game between France and Honduras the technology was first implemented.
U- Underdogs were here
Costa Rica, Chile, USA and Algeria all were tagged as party-poopers in the round of 16 stage. While in group stage Australia, Mexico, Switzerland and Iran came close to register an upset.
V- Vanishing spray
To stop defenders from encroaching Referees used Vanishing spray to mark the 10 yards. Another of the first-timer used in this World Cup.
W- Water breaks
Here is another, the first cooling break World Cup history took place during the game between Mexico and Netherlands after the first 30 minutes of play.
X- Xherdan Shaqiri scores Hat-trick
Switzerland midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri also known as ‘Alpine Messi’ scored the only left-footed hat-trick in the World Cup history, it was the second of the tournament.
Y- Yuichi Nishimura
The Japanese referee made it to the news for wrong reason when he awarded hosts Brazil a controversial penalty in their group-stage clash with Croatia.
Z- Zuniga knees in
Colombian Defender Juan Zuniga in a quarter-final clash against hosts Brazil accidentally smashed his knee into the back of Neymar and thus ended the latter’s World Cup campaign. FIFA later ruled out any action against Zuniga, which left many Brazilian fans fuming.