Day 31: Italy triumphs in Berlin
The curtain came down on the 18th FIFA World Cup this Sunday with a classic Final between France and Italy at the Berlin Olympiastadion. Here we present a day-by-day review of the tournament in Germany.
Friday 9 June: Proceedings get underway in Munich with a joyous, colourful opening ceremony. Philipp Lahm and Torsten Frings net superb strikes as the hosts defeat Costa Rica 4-2 in the Opening Match. The German fans initiate a huge, rolling FIFA World Cup party throughout the nation, the like of which no one really expected.
Saturday 10 June: Argentina underline their trophy credentials with a 2-1 victory over many experts' outside tip, Côte d'Ivoire. The match is set to go down as one of the best at the FIFA World Cup.
Sunday 11 June: A typical FIFA World Cup day: Glorious weather, packed stadiums, overflowing Fan Fests and a stunning atmosphere.
Monday 12 June: Czech Republic look very convincing in defeating the USA 3-0, but key man Jan Koller sustains a serious injury. Italy overcome Ghana 2-0.
Tuesday 13 June: Brazil struggle to beat Croatia 1-0.
Wednesday 14 June: Oliver Neuvilles's last-gasp effort sees Klinsmann's side home against Poland and books them a place in the Round of 16.
Thursday 15 June: England put their fans through a torturous afternoon in scraping a 2-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago.
Friday 16 June: Argentina take over as favourites following a scintillating 6-0 romp against Serbia and Montenegro. It's not looking good for Africa: top hopefuls Cote d'Ivoire lose 2-1 to the Netherlands.
Saturday 17 June: Iran exit the tournament with a 2-0 reverse against Portugal.
Sunday 18 June: France are not certain of a place in the Round of 16 after a 1-1 draw against Korea Republic. Brazil beat Australia 2-0.
Monday 19 June: Herbert Grönemeyer's FIFA World Cup Hymn Zeit, dass sich was dreht reaches the top of the German singles chart.
Tuesday 20 June: Miroslav Klose excels as Klinsmann's side comfortably dispose of Ecuador 3-0 in Berlin. The German express powers to the top of the group, sparking mass euphoria all over the nation.
Wednesday 21 June: Derby Argentina - Netherlands in Frankfurt. Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble is a happy man: "Our overseas visitors are hugely impressed by this country."
Thursday 22 June: Brazil's hopes are re-awakened as Ronaldo fires a brace in a 4-1 victory over Japan. The runaway favourites turn in a decent display at last.
Friday 23 June: France defeat Togo 2-0 and register a first FIFA World Cup victory since claiming the trophy in Paris eight years ago.
Saturday 24 June: A quickfire Lukas Podolski brace sees Germany beat Sweden 2-0 in the Round of 16. The feeling is that the hosts could overcome the seemingly invincible Argentines.
Sunday 25 June: Portugal's 1-0 victory over Netherlands includes four sendings-off and 16 yellow cards.
Monday 26 June: Surprise package Australia come within a whisker of upsetting Italy, but the canny Europeans scrape into the quarter-finals with a penalty in stoppage time.
Tuesday 27 June: Spain, so impressive at the start of the tournament, head for home after a 3-1 defeat to France.
Friday 30 June: Four penalties and outstanding keeper Jens Lehmann take Germany past Argentina and into the semi-finals. The excitement reaches fever pitch.
Saturday 1 July: A cloud of depression settles over Brazil as Thierry Henry scores the goal which puts the reigning champions out of the tournament. England fall to the Portuguese, as Sven Goran Eriksson's men fail in a penalty shoot-out.
Tuesday 4 July: Germany's FIFA World Cup dream lies in tatters as the Italians strike twice in the dying seconds of extra time. Coach Jürgen Klinsmann comforts his weeping players, but there is not a word of criticism after a fantastic run in the tournament.
Wednesday 5 July: France and resurgent Zinedine Zidane knock out Portugal 1-0. The Final will feature the two best defences at the event.
Saturday 8 July: Germany claim third place with a 3-1 victory over Portugal in Stuttgart.
Sunday 9 July: The Berlin Olympiastadion was the scene for Italy's fourth triumph at the World Cup. The team of Marcello Lippi won 5:3 after penalties. The score after regulation was 1:1. In the last game of an illustrious career, Zinedine Zidane was ejected because of a headbutt in min. 110. Germany's FIFA World Cup squad receive an ecstatic welcome as they bid farewell to half a million fans gathered at the Brandenburg Gate on Sunday afternoon.