Power rankings: Every World Cup game in order of entertainment value

Jamie Cutteridge ranks all 64 matches from Brazil 2014...

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64. Iran 0-0 Nigeria

In any other World Cup, the third-place play-off is the worst game. But this year, with this game, we can make an exception.

63. Brazil 0-3 Netherlands

Not only is the third-place play-off largely irrelevant, it’s also demeaning and forces guys who have just had their dreams crushed to play again in a game no one cares about. It’s tantamount to abuse (more so for Brazil, in this case).

62. Japan 0-0 Greece

Forgettable, rather than notably bad. This game could have not happened and nobody would have noticed. Makes you think...

61. Belgium 1-0 South Korea

A dead rubber in all but name. Jan Vertonghan scored a scrappy winner and, more importantly, provided the only interesting moment of the game - this unprovoked attack on an Arsenal supporter...

60. Costa Rica 0-0 England

The least memorable England game at a major tournament since the 0-0 draw with Denmark at Euro 92 (no, of course you don't remember) - overshadowed a tad by a certain incident in Uruguay vs Italy.

59. Netherlands 0-0 Argentina (2-4 pens)

It takes a lot for a game of this importance to drop so low on this list, but this one earned it. Two teams featuring some of the best attacking players on the planet served up an absolute stinker and failed to create a single chance of note over 120 minutes. Even the shootout was relatively dull.

58. Russia 1-1 South Korea

A game so bad that it took two goalkeeping errors to make it watchable - Igor Akinfeev and Jung Sung-Ryong won't be the only ones who don't want to see it again.

57. Belgium 1-0 Russia

Another instantly forgotten late show from Belgium, whose lack of creativity matched up against Fabio Capello’s insistence on ruining every World Cup to leave us with this 90 minutes of dirge.

56. France 0-0 Ecuador

A game marginally better than the scoreline suggests. France did everything but score against an Ecuador side who for some reason set out to draw the game, despite needing a win to get out of the group.

55. Australia 0-3 Spain

With both teams already out, there was squad rotation aplenty. The ultimate indignity for Australia came when living punchline Fernando Torres scored Spain's second.

54. Mexico 1-0 Cameroon

Mexico should have been two ahead at half time, but a couple of officiating blunders denied them in Natal’s torrential rain. Eventually, Oribe Peralta notched the winning goal against a Cameroon side whose resilient performance gave no indication of the farce which lay ahead.

53. Ivory Coast 2-1 Japan

For 25 minutes, Japan looked neat, tidy and like a potential surprise package. Then Ivory Coast clicked into gear and bagged a quick pair of goals. If none of this sounds familiar it’s because it kicked off at 2am UK time.

52. Argentina 1-0 Belgium

Gonzalo Higuain’s early goal after some Messi magic broke both his duck and the deadlock early on, but it was pretty turgid 80 minutes that followed. However, this game did give us the reaction of the tournament as Alejandro Sabello saw Higuain the bar and well, this...

51. USA 0-1 Germany

With narrative aplenty in the run-up, this one disappointed. The ‘hype’ team of 2014, USA, delivered their only dud of the tournament as Germany controlled a largely uninspiring game settled by, unsurprisingly, a Thomas Muller goal. Portugal’s win over Ghana meant Jurgen Klinsmann was able to leave happy for both his original and adopted homelands.

50. Belgium 2-1 Algeria

The most exciting match of Belgium’s dull plod through Group H, although only because they started so badly. Algeria gave a taste of what was to come as they took a deserved lead, before Marc Wilmots came up trumps. Two of the Belgian coach's substitutes - Marouane Fellani and Dries Mertens - turned the game on its head.

49. Honduras 0-3 Switzerland

You’ve got to feel sorry Xherdan Shaqiri. After a couple of poor performances in his first two matches, the Bayern midfielder scored one of the most forgettable hat-tricks in World Cup history, though perhaps his major victory was leaving the game alive as Honduras continued their all-out assault on Group E.

48. Italy 0-1 Costa Rica

Remember those 12 hours when everyone expected Italy to walk to victory in this game, allowing England to sneak into the knockout stages? Heady days. What actually happened was a superb Costa Rican performance against a lacklustre Italy. Bryan Ruiz’s header secured the victory with the help of goal-line technology – a win for the underdogs and FIFA’s multimillion-dollar investment.

47. Honduras 1-2 Ecuador

The game that spawned 1,000 puns as Carlo Costly’s opener got ‘That could be Costly for Ecaudor’ trending on Twitter. An Enner Valencia double kept Ecuador in the tournament for a few days and all but secured him a move to a middling Premier League club.

46. Bosnia 3-1 Iran

Fresh off the back of a 'heroic' defeat to Argentina, Iran were decidedly less impressive in handing Bosnia their first ever World Cup win. Safet Susic’s side finally showed the promise many had heralded pre-tournament, while Iran’s goal not only ensured that every team in the tournament scored, but also meant that Reza Ghoochannejhad became the first Charlton player to score at a World Cup – Charlton!

45. Argentina 1-0 Switzerland

The worst 118 minutes of the tournament was followed by the best two minutes. Switzerland played for penalties from the start, and almost got there until Lionel Messi dragged his side to the semis, setting up Angel di Maria’s winner. Switzerland then finally woke up, piled on two minutes' worth of pressure, hitting the post and somehow missing with the rebound.

44. Nigeria 1-0 Bosnia

Peter Odemwingie scored the only goal of the game against Stoke City team-mate Asmir Begovic as dark horses Bosnia were dumped out after having an early goal controversially ruled out. Only twice before had a player scored a World Cup goal past a club team-mate, and the two pairs in question played for Real Madrid and Inter Milan. Stoke being added to that list is enough to merit a place in the top 45 games of any tournament.

43. Netherlands 2-0 Chile

The battle to avoid Brazil was won by the Dutch, who presumably later wondered what they'd been so worried about. Two late Oranje goals sent Chile towards a last 16 South American showdown between two of the early-tournament entertainers.

42. France 0-1 Germany

Hopes were ludicrously high for this game between two of the most impressive teams from the group stages. These hopes were dashed. An early Mats Hummels goal allowed Joachim Low’s team to keep the French at arm’s length, as only Karim Benzema looked remotely threatening for les Bleus.

41. Croatia 1-3 Mexico

A winner-takes-all Group A decider threatened to peter out before Mexico woke up, scored three quick goals and threatened to wrestle top spot away from Brazil. The host’s late goal in the other game, coupled with Croatia bothering to score, took away that fun possibility. But still, we’ll always have those two minutes (and the memories of Mexico coach Miguel Herrera going potty).

40. France 2-0 Nigeria

The opening 20 minutes of this second-round clash hinted at an end-to-end thriller, before all 22 men realised this wasn’t feasible in the heat of Brasilia, and eased off the gas. Eventually France decided that it was in their best interests to win the game, and did so with two late goals.

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39. Colombia 3-0 Greece

Greece’s most attack-minded showing of the tournament reminded the world why they usually don't bother. Georgios Samaras’s performance was cruelly overshadowed by that of James ‘pronunciation’ Rodriguez, who gave us a taste of what was to come.

38. Switzerland 2-1 Ecuador

An upset looked on the cards as Enner Valencia laid the groundwork for his East London dream move by giving Ecuador the lead. It didn't last, though, as Switzerland scored early in the second half, before grabbing the latest normal-time winner in World Cup history, as Haris Seferovic ghosted past a static Ecuadorian backline to prod home in the 93rd minute.

37. France 3-0 Honduras

A game mostly notable for Jonathan Pearce’s odd confusion about goal-line technology saw French run out comfortable winners. It was a real clash of styles as the French tried their best to kick the ball into the goal and the Hondurans tried to kick the French into the air. In the end, two Karim Benzema goals settled the game. He could have had a third but it was eventually awarded to the back of Honduras goalkeeper, Noel Valladares’ head.

36. Portugal 2-1 Ghana

This game had a little bit of everything – two teams going all-out for a win, some odd goalkeeping, a comedy own goal courtesy of Ghana’s John Boye (the only World Cup player named after a character from The Waltons), and even some genuine effort from Cristiano Ronaldo. When Asamoah Gyan nodded in Kwadwo Asamoah’s other-worldly cross, it looked like Ghana might find a way to qualify, but Ronaldo’s late winner ruined it for everyone (apart from the USA, who went through at the expense of both teams).

35. Colombia 2-1 Ivory Coast

Three goals in nine second-half minutes made this game look far more exciting than the first half had any right to be. Sure, it was watchable, but until the 60th minute, not a lot happened. Then Ivory Coast brought on Didier Drogba in order to continue their record of only scoring when Le Drog (as no one calls him) was on the pitch, and stuff happened, the most notable of which being the Colombian dancing celebration.

34. Algeria 1-1 Russia

Not the best game of football, but plucky Algeria digging in to knock out Fabio Capello's Russia was pretty fun. The Russians struck early to give hope to giant empires seeking to crush any uprisings worldwide, but Capello’s Algeria (a 21st century Achilles’ heel) struck again as Islam Slimani headed home a corner while Igor Akinfeev was distracted by a flashing light elsewhere in the stadium like an over-excited puppy. We cannot confirm whether or not Akinfeev was put down after the game.

33. Brazil 0-0 Mexico

A genuinely exciting 0-0, as Brazil struggled to break down an obdurate Mexican backline. When they did manage to beat Marquez and company, they found Mexico keeper Guillermo Ochoa in inspired form, producing the save of the tournament from a Neymar header.

32. Argentina 2-1 Bosnia

Lionel Messi, the best player in the world, playing at the Maracana – it doesn’t get better than that. Despite a stuttering start, Argentina’s performance gave a taste of the dull but effective victories that were to come. Bosnia threatened to turn the game into a contest but then Messi did that thing where he makes scoring a fantastic goal look really simple, and the game was done.

31. Netherlands 2-1 Mexico

This game saw the start of a crucial World Cup trend – the worst player on the pitch scoring a crucial goal (the other two to join that club were Di Maria and Ozil). Wesley Sneijder’s performance was forgettable, but his 88th-minute equaliser set up a finish no one saw coming. Robben was felled in the box (and despite tabloid hysteria, it was a foul) and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar took Seferovic’s two-week-old record (see No.38) from the spot.

30. Chile 3-1 Australia

The first taste of the excitement Chile brought to the competition and the first sign that Australia were at least going to make things interesting. Chile’s two early goals suggested they might match the day’s earlier Group B rout (see No.3), but Tim Cahill got one back and Australia threatened to get back into the game. And then, moment of moments, joy of joys, former Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic wide-man Jean Beausejour scored a crucial World Cup goal! Beausejour!

29. Cameroon 0-4 Croatia

Less a game of football than a collective breakdown, as Croatia swept aside a Cameroon side hell-bent on self-destruction. The return of Mario Mandzukic and a wonderful Ivan Perisic performance may have done for Cameroon anyway, but the Indomitable Lions did for themselves as Alex Song performed a curious elbow on Mandzukic, before Benoit Assou-Ekotto headbutted Benjamin Moukandjo.

28. Germany 4-0 Portugal

Two of the pre-tournament favourites played out a one-sided affair, decided by German efficiency and a moment of Pepe stupidity – exactly what you’d expect. Thomas Muller scored his sixth, seventh and eighth World Cup goals with his sixth, seventh and ninth World Cup shots, while also winding up Pepe enough to drive the Portuguese defender to headbutt the Bayern forward and subsequently be sent off.

27. Colombia 2-0 Uruguay

The goal of the tournament from James ‘Don’t call me James’ Rodriguez bumps this game higher that the other 89 minutes and 57 seconds merited. Rodriguez’s much-heralded look over the shoulder, touch and sumptuous volley drew the headlines, but the Monaco star's second goal, at the end of a brilliant team move, was glorious for different reasons. Uruguay, in a post-Suarez malaise, offered little and the Colombians danced on.

26. Ghana 1-2 USA

‘I believe that we will win’. Despite the omnipresence of this chant, this was the only game that the United States’ Men’s National Team (USMNT!) won the whole tournament, and they did it in super-fun, super-American circumstances. Clint Dempsey gave his side the lead inside the first 30 seconds only for Ghana’s speed and inventiveness to bring an 81st-minute equaliser. However, World Cups are a time for heroes, and American comic book hero of the future, John Brooks, stepped forward to head home the winner before channeling the spirit of Tardelli, Schillaci and Grosso to give win the award for ‘Overly passionate celebration of the tournament’.

25. Argentina 3-2 Nigeria

A weirdly muted, yet still exciting 3-2, with both teams pretty much assured of last-16 qualification before kick-off. Two moments of Lionel Messi magic were matched by Ahmed Musa in a back-and-forth game, before Marcos Rojo kneed in the winner. The real winner was Vincent Enyeama, who appealed to the officials to stop awarding Argentina free-kicks because he wasn’t good enough to stop Messi scoring. We like to think he was only half joking.

24. Brazil 2-1 Colombia

A game that will ultimately be remembered for fouls, injuries and FREAKISHLY GIANT GRASSHOPPERS was actually quite a decent football match too. Brazil’s tactics to deal with James Rodriguez may have been questionable, but the hosts produced their best 45 minutes of the tournament in the first half. The second half got pretty weird as Brazil panicked, David Luiz scored a worldy, Neymar broke both his body and a country’s collective heart, before Rodriguez created an exciting last 10 minutes during which he was attacked by a FREAKISHLY GIANT GRASSHOPPER.

23. Uruguay 2-1 England

Luis Suarez did probably the worst thing he’s ever done – scoring two goals as another encouraging England performance went to waste. Steven ‘Captain Everything’ Gerrard’s late mistake did for Roy Hodgson’s inexperienced side as England missed the kind of chances that the clinical Suarez would gobble up in his sleep. It did give us this glorious clip of Hodgson, however.

22. Cameroon 1-4 Brazil

The hosts finally got the party started as they brushed aside Cameroon in a win so convincing that even Fred scored. Neymar was once again the inspiration for the hosts, and despite Joel Matip equalising for the African side early on, Brazil cruised to victory, with a late Fernandinho goal ensuring they topped Group A.

21. Costa Rica 1-1 Greece (5-3 pens)

Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ 91st-minute equaliser was the least popular goal of the competition, preventing people across Europe going to bed and subjecting them to an extra 30 minutes of Greece. As it was, the Greeks piled on the pressure in an entertaining extra period against Costa Rica’s 10 men. Jorge Luis Pinto’s side held on for penalties, allowing Keylor Navas to build on his in-game heroics by taking his side to a most unlikely quarter-final appearance.

20. Argentina 1-0 Iran

A stroke of genius from Lionel Messi prevented Iran from picking up one of the greatest points in World Cup history. An immaculate defensive performance from Carlos Queiroz’s men came so close to earning them an amazing draw against the eventual finalists/winners, yet the 91 minutes they held out weren’t quite enough, as Messi needed just a yard of space to curl home a spectacular winner and break Iranian hearts.

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19. Holland 0-0 Costa Rica (4-3 pens)

Another knockout game, another disappointing 90 minutes before a pulsating, end-to-end, extra period. Costa Rica’s defensive prowess showed no signs of abating as they kept out Arjen Robben and company to take the game to penalties. The real drama came immediately before the shootout, as Louis van Gaal replaced goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with Newcastle's Tim Krul in one of the most extraordinary substitutions in footballing history. Whether it was psychology or penalty prowess, it did the trick as Krul made two saves to help the Dutch into the semis.

18. Japan 1-4 Colombia

The hipster derby saw the Colombians crowned Group C champions against the already-eliminated Japanese. After a quiet first half, the rested James Rodriguez was introduced at the break, setting up two before chipping home a delightful third goal of the tournament after a jinking run. If that wasn’t enough, Colombia brought on Faryd Mondragon for this first competitive international game in nine years, making him the oldest player in World Cup history aged 43.

17. Uruguay 1-3 Costa Rica

The first sign that there was something special about this Costa Rican team. After going behind to an Edinson Cavani penalty, an extraordinary second-half performance secured three points for the underdogs. Joel Campbell delighted and confused Arsenal fans with a superb lone-striker performance, scoring the equaliser before Oscar Duarte’s brave diving header and Marcos Urena’s clipped finished secured the three points. To compound Uruguay’s misery, Maxi Pereira saw red for a churlish kickout in injury time. Surely their competition couldn’t get any worse…?

16. Italy 0-1 Uruguay

…it could. This winner-takes-all Group D clash was decided by a late header from Diego Godin, as Italy failed to hold on with 10 men following Claudio Marchisio's earlier red card. That was a sideshow to the real story, however, as Luis Suarez grabbed the headlines with a frankly unbelievable bite of Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder. This resulted in a four-month ban, a listless Uruguayan second-round performance and a transfer to Barcelona. We should point that Suarez has yet to admit any intent, and has claimed that his teeth fell onto Chiellini’s shoulder.

15. Spain 0-2 Chile

After their early shellacking at the hands of the Dutch (see No.3), Spain headed to Rio knowing they needed a result against Chile to stay in the tournament. And despite Vicente del Bosque making changes, his side crashed out as Eduardo Vargas and Charles Aranguiz goals gave the Chileans three points. Chile’s brilliant performance was lost in the hysteria of Spain’s defeat and exit, with Gary Medel putting in what we feel safe calling ‘the best performance from a Cardiff City player in World Cup history’. Very much the end of an era (that’s Spain’s exit, not Cardiff's relevance).

14. Greece 2-1 Ivory Coast

An extraordinary finish to Group C as Georgios Samaras’s 90th-minute penalty put Greece through to the knockout stages at the expense of Ivory Coast. Wilfried Bony cancelled out Andreas Samaris’s opener with just 15 minutes left to spark wild Ivory Coast celebrations, but it wasn’t enough. Deep into injury time, Samaras shaped to shoot, but his leg was caught from behind, causing him to kick the turf and fall to the ground. The Celtic forward was nerveless from the spot, securing the Greek’s an unlikely second-round berth.

13. Brazil 1-1 Chile (3-2 pens)

Julio Cesar was the host’s hero as they overcame a brilliant Chile performance to progress. David Luiz turned in Neymar’s corner to give Brazil the lead but Alexis Sanchez took advantage of some confusion in the Brazil defense to equalise. From then on, either team could have snatched it. Howard Webb ruled out Hulk’s volley for offside before Mauricio Pinilla smashed against the bar at the end of extra time. From then on it was Cesar’s moment. The QPR keeper saved from Sanchez and Pinilla (he had no chance with the below Aranguiz effort), before Gonzalo Jara hit the inside of the post to send Brazil through.

12. South Korea 2-4 Algeria

A game nobody had circled in their diaries ended up one of the most enjoyable of the tournament. The Algerians' pace and power was too much for a lacklustre South Korean side, as first-half goals from Slimani, Halliche and Djabou put them in control. South Korea rallied in the second half, threatening to make the game competitive, but they never got closer than two goals as the Desert Foxes impressed all the neutral onlookers with an thumping win.

11. Switzerland 2-5 France

This one was as entertaining as one-sided games get. A gloriously dynamic French performance saw them race into a five-goal lead, despite Karim Benzema’s missed penalty and Yohan Cabaye’s hilarious miss from the rebound. Goals from Giroud, Matuidi, Valbuena, Benzema and Sissoko torched a Swiss defence lumbered with Philippe Senderos, before two late goals in reply gave an air of respectability. There was still time for Benzema to have a goal disallowed by a referee blowing up just as he curled up home a 20-yard screamer. A glorious thrashing in Salvador – the city of goals.

10. England 1-2 Italy

The first match of the tournament to pit two of the game's 'big hitters' against one another, in a fixture only ruined by the conditions in Manaus, which caused a laboured last 20 minutes. England’s performance was one that gave hope, yet the class of the Italians showed. Andrea Pirlo’s stepover from a short corner led to Claudio Marchisio sweeping home from 25 yards, but England responded immediately as Daniel Sturridge finished at the back post from Wayne Rooney’s fine run and cross. Both teams had chances but it was Mario Balotelli who made the telling contribution, heading home at the back post for the winner.

9. Brazil 3-1 Croatia

As good and competitive an opening game as the World Cup had seen in many years. After the opening ceremony, the tone was set with the extraordinary accapella version of Brazili’s anthem, sending goosebumps all over Sao Paulo. Marcelo’s own goal shocked the world, but then came the Neymar show. The face of the tournament fired in from 25 yards to equalise, but his second was to come in controversial circumstances. There was minimal contact between Dejan Lovren and Fred, but as the striker flung himself to the ground, the ref awarded the penalty (below) which Neymar converted. Croatia then had more reasons to complain as they had an equaliser harshly disallowed before Oscar’s toe poke caught Pletikosa in the Croatian goal by surprise to secure the win.

8. Germany 2-2 Ghana

The Boateng Derby ended in a pulsating draw between two teams who either couldn’t be bothered or completely forgot how to defend. All four goals games in 22 second-half minutes as the Ghanaians came from 1-0 down (Mario Gotze heading the ball in via his knee) to take a 2-1 lead with goals from Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan. Miroslav Klose then equalised in the most ‘Klose’ of fashions, prodding home at the back post. Both sides had chances to win it late on but it wasn’t to be.

7. USA 2-2 Portugal

The American odyssey continued in a fine draw against Cristiano Ronaldo and 'friends'. Nani fired Portugal ahead following Geoff Cameron's sliced clearance, but from then on in, America more than merited their point, testing the favourites time and time again on the counter attack. Michael Bradley missed a good chance to level the scores before Jermaine Jones curled in a thunderous 20-yard equaliser. Clint ‘Captain America’ Dempsey guided the ball home off his midriff in the last 10 minutes to seemingly seal all three points, only for Ronaldo to provide Silvestre Varela with a headed opportunity he couldn’t miss. Despite America’s heartbreak, they would still qualify at Portugal’s expense.

6. Australia 2-3 Holland

One of the most surprisingly entertaining games of the group stage saw the Aussies stand toe-to-toe with the eventual semi-finalists. Arjen Robben’s run and shot gave the Dutch the lead but the Socceroos responded immediately as Tim Cahill scored one of the goals of the tournament with a Van Basten-esque volley (below). Mile Jedinak then gave his side a shock lead from the spot, but Robin van Persie levelled the scores again, smashing home from inside the box. Mathew Leckie’s gilt-edged miss proved costly. The striker attempted to chest home into an open goal, yet he failed to get enough power from his torso. The Netherlands went straight up the other end and Matthew Ryan couldn’t keep out Memphis Depay’s winner, putting Australia out of the tournament despite a heroic effort. Strewth indeed.

5. Germany 2-1 Algeria (aet)

Algeria threatened to pull off an incredible upset and exact revenge for 1982 for much of this game. A languid performance from the Germans was almost punished by the Algerians’ threat on the counter attack, as the African side wasted a glut of opportunities. When extra time arrived, though, the Germans' class told. Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle’s improvised finish early in extra time settled German nerves before Mesut Ozil broke Algerian hearts. A late Abdelmoumene Djabou volley ensured a frantic finish but the Germans cruelly held on.

4. Germany 1-0 Argentina (aet)

It wasn't the greatest game of football, but it was arguably the best final since 1986. It had been billed as the man (Lionel Messi) against the machine (Germany), but the script was flipped as the disciplined Argentinians frustrated the Germans before a moment of individual magic from Mario Gotze (also a man) proved the difference. Argentina missed numerous chances but could never test Manuel Neuer as Germany won their fourth World Cup.

3. Belgium 2-1 USA

Perhaps the most competitive match of the tournament, as everyone’s pre-tournament 'dark horses' held off everyone’s new darlings in a thrilling encounter. A goalless 90 minutes was not without incident, as Tim Howard seemingly kept Marc Wilmots’ side out single-handedly (replays later showed he was, in fact, using both hands), yet the best chance fell to Chris Wondolowski at the death. Romelu Lukaku’s introduction at the start of extra time made the difference as the striker set up Kevin De Bruyne to open the scoring, before doubling the lead himself. Julian Green’s wonderful volley set up the grandest of grandstand finishes, but the USMNT couldn’t make the breakthrough.

2. Spain 1-5 Holland

In any other tournament, this would be the best and most memorable game by an absolute mile: defending champions and most dominant team of this (or almost any) era were taken apart in an extraordinary second half. What’s easy to forget is that not only did the Spanish take the lead, but David Silva missed a simple chance to put them two up – how different might the tournament have been had he scored? There were no ifs and buts after that, however. Robin van Persie’s memorable  diving header levelled the scores before RVP and Arjen Robben tore the Spanish apart in an incredible second 45 minutes. Spain looked staggeringly short of ideas as the Dutch ran wild; in the end it could have been six or seven. The death of an all-time great side?

1. Brazil 1-7 Germany

Perhaps the most memorable game in any World Cup. In the biggest win ever seen in a World Cup semi, the hosts and pre-tournament favourites were blown away in an almost unbelievable opening 30 minutes. Four goals in six minutes did the damage as Brazil, playing without Thiago Silva and Neymar, looked shell-shocked from the off. The German performance was one for the ages, as Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos dominated the midfield, while the front three of Ozil, Muller and Klose tore the David Luiz-led defence apart. Klose rubbed further salt in the gaping Brazilian wounds by taking Ronaldo’s record as the all-time leading scorer in World Cup finals, but even that was lost in the extraordinary result. So much of Brazil’s footballing identity is based around their loss to Uruguay in 1950 – this tournament was seen as their chance for redemption. As it was, this defeat may go down as their worst in history, a result that sheds different light on the last 30 years of Brazilian football and one that will shape them going forward. Yet let’s not let context overshadow what was an extraordinary 90 minutes of football; a German performance for the ages. SEVEN-ONE!

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