Germany landed in Salvador having already conquered 40 million Brazilians – they ingeniously modelled their change kit on that of the county’s best-supported club, Flamengo. They duly devastated 200 million-plus of them with an earth-shaking performance in Belo Horizonte.
Then, with all but every Brazilian firmly back behind them, Jogi Low and boys outlasted Argentina in Rio de Janeiro to win the 20th FIFA World Cup™. Here, FIFA.com brings you the engrossing stats behind that triumph.
244 passes is what Germany’s goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, completed at Brazil 2014 – more, incredibly, than Lionel Messi (242), Wesley Sneijder (242), Thomas Muller (221), Arjen Robben (201) and Paul Pogba (197).
84 kilometres is what Muller covered at Brazil 2014 – more than any other player and the distance of two marathons. Xavi ran a tournament-high of 80 kilometres at South Africa 2010.
76 years had passed since a team had won by a six-goal margin in a World Cup knockout game until Germany pulverised Brazil 7-1 in Belo Horizonte. Hungary won 6-0 in the first round and Sweden triumphed 8-0 in the quarter-finals at France 1938, albeit against minnows Dutch East Indies and Cuba. It equalled Brazil’s heaviest defeat – a 6-0 loss to Uruguay in 1920.
32 years after a Spain-based player was last named in a West Germany/Germany World Cup squad, Low repeated history by picking Sami Khedira. All three of the country’s Spain-based World Cup players – Gunter Netzer (1974) and Uli Stielike (1982) were the first two – were employed by Real Madrid. Twenty-one Italy based players have made West Germany/Germany World Cup squads.
22 years and 40 days made Mario Gotze the youngest scorer in a World Cup Final since compatriot Wolfgang Weber (22 years and 33 days) in 1966. The only other younger marksmen in the fixture were Brazil’s Pele in 1958 (17 years and 249 days), Argentina’s Carlos Peucelle in 1930 (21 years and 320 days) and Uruguay’s Pablo Dorado in 1930 (22 years and 38 days).
17 World Cup victories is what Miroslav Klose made it in the Brazil 2014 Final, breaking Cafu’s World Cup record. Germans impressively occupy six of the top ten positions, with Philipp Lahm, Lothar Matthaus, Wolfgang Overath, Ronaldo, Bastian Schweinsteiger (all 15 wins), Lucio, Paolo Maldini and Per Mertesacker (all 14) completing it.
9 players have won the European Cup/UEFA Champions League and World Cup in the same year after Khedira emulated Sepp Maier, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner, Uli Hoeness, Gerd Muller (all in 1974), Christian Karembeu (1998) and Roberto Carlos (2002).
7 metres and 68 centimetres was the towering combined height of Germany’s starting four defenders in the group stage – the tallest average height (1.92) of any defence in World Cup history. It comprised Per Mertesacker (1.98m), Jerome Boateng (1.92), Mats Hummels (1.91m) and Benedikt Howedes (1.87m). Mertesacker and Hummels were, staggeringly, one foot and five inches taller than the two centre-backs that helped Argentina conquer the world in 1978, namely Daniel Passarella (1.73) and Luis Galvan (1.74).
5 goals in multiple World Cups is what Muller became only the third player to register. Teofilo Cubillas (1970 & 1978) and Miroslav Klose (2002 & 2006) had previously managed the feat.
5 successive World Cup winners had worn either blue shirts or blue shorts in the Final until Low’s charges broke the trend.
4 goals in their curtain-raiser is what Germany became the first team to register in four consecutive World Cups. Die Mannschaft followed up beating Saudi Arabia 8-0 (2002), Costa Rica 4-2 (2006) and Australia 4-0 (2010) by winning 4-0 against Portugal, who conceded more than three goals in a major-tournament game for the first time in what was their 52nd outing. Since a 1-1 draw with Uruguay at Mexico 1986, Germany have won seven successive opening matches, scoring 27 goals and conceding just three.
4 World Cup Finals is what West Germany/Germany have won – all by a one-goal margin. They beat Hungary 3-2 in 1954, the Netherlands 2-1 in 1974, and Argentina 1-0 in both 1990 and 2014.
4 assists is what Toni Kroos registered – a Brazil 2014-high he shared with Colombia’s Juan Cuadrado. No player has managed more in a World Cup since another German, Thomas Hassler, provided five at USA 1994. ‘Waiter’, as Kroos became nicknamed, finished top of the Castrol Index with a rating of 9.79, with Robben (9.74) his runner-up.
3 World Cup Finals is what makes Argentina-Germany its most prolific fixture (they also collided in 1986 and 1990). Their meeting at the Maracana was the seventh between the nations in the World Cup, making it the competition’s joint-most played fixture.
3 World Cup All-Star Teams is what Lahm became the third player to make at Brazil 2014. Djalma Santos and Franz Beckenbauer are the others.
2 players have, incredibly, made their first competitive international start in a World Cup Final. Sixty-four years after Uruguay’s Ruben Moran became the first, Christoph Kramer, on the cusp of kick-off at the Maracana, was flabbergasted to discover he’d become the second. Khedira sustained a calf injury as he was warming up and Kramer, despite having played just 12 minutes during Germany’s campaign thus far, was surprisingly given the nod to replace him.
1 minute and 15 seconds of action is, implausibly, all it took Germany to score three goals in the first-half against Brazil. Fifty-six seconds after play had restarted following the goal that made Miroslav Klose the World Cup’s all-time leading marksman – he outranked 15-goal Brazilian Ronaldo – Toni Kroos made it 3-0. Kroos heightened the hosts’ horror just 20 seconds of action later. Including celebration stoppages, Die Mannschaft netted four goals in only six minutes and 30 seconds – a World Cup record.