Germany won the World Cup late in extra time with a wonderful goal from Mario Gotze to deny Argentina. Here are the player ratings for both teams from the final.
Manuel Neuer, 8:
Neuer didn’t have too much to do, but he played with an air of confidence that doesn’t come about unless a player is at the top of his profession.
Benedikt Howedes, 6:
Howedes, as he has been all tournament, was solid. There weren’t too many nervous moments from the converted center-back, and this rating would be higher if he had planted his free-header in the back of the net.
Jerome Boateng, 8:
Boateng played a strong game in central defense, well positioned and shorn of drama throughout.
Mats Hummels, 6:
It looked early like Hummels would have a long night dealing with Messi, but he settled in well as Messi faded.
Phillip Lahm, 7:
Smart, assured, and immeasurably competent as usual. A deserving world champion.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, 9:
Schweinsteiger’s maturation is complete. He left every ounce of his being on the field, and was huge defensively breaking up play.
Toni Kroos, 4:
It was not a vintage game from Kroos, who did nothing with a few good chances and wasn’t as involved as usual. Did he suffer from Khedira’s absence?
Christoph Kramer, 5:
Kramer had a rather nondescript half hour before he surely suffered a concussion. That he was allowed to continue for a time is horrifying. He looked awful.
Mesut Ozil, 6:
Ozil played a good, hard-working game in this one, even if he couldn’t unlock the Argentine defense with a final ball as space was hard to come by.
Thomas Muller, 5:
Not Muller’s most impactful performance, and he drew ire for diving.
Miroslav Klose, 4:
It doesn’t matter that Klose wasn’t overly involved in his final World Cup game. His legacy in this competition – and the medal now around his neck – speak volumes.
Andre Schurrle, 8:
A handful all night, his direct play was important in diversifying the German attack. And that run and cross to set up Gotze? Priceless.
Mario Gotze, 8:
Forgotten and shut out after the poor performance against Algeria in the Round of 16, Gotze turned up with one of the goals of the tournament to win the tournament.
Per Mertersacker, 6: Came on for the last minute, and immediately won a header. Did his job.
Sergio Romero, 7:
After his heroic performance in the semifinal, Romero had another good game here. Nothing he could do about the goal.
Marcos Rojo, 6:
Rojo played a solid game in defense, but had little impact in the attack.
Martin Demichelis, 7:
There was no high profile error – instead, Demichelis was a tough presence in the center of defense that was – nearly – impossible to break down.
Ezequiel Garay, 8:
Perhaps Argentina’s player of the tournament, Garay was immense in the Argentine defensive effort. Won almost every header in his box.
Pablo Zabaleta, 6:
He didn’t have a special impact on the game, but Zabaleta was an assured presence in the Argentine team.
Javier Mascherano, 8:
Argentina’s equivalent to Schweinsteiger. Mascherano was everywhere defensively, even if he probably should have been sent off in extra time. He should have no regrets.
Lucas Biglia, 6:
Biglia fits well in this Argentine setup in that he’s disciplined and a good defender. He was not, however, a threat offensively, and Argentina could have used one or two more of those.
Enzo Perez, 5:
Perez didn’t have the impact he did against the Netherlands. Like Biglia, offered little going forward.
Ezequiel Lavezzi, 7:
Lavezzi was dangerous with his running throughout the first half. It was a bit of a head scratcher that he was taken off for the decidedly off-the-pace Sergio Aguero. Injury, perhaps?
Lionel Messi, 4:
Messi was raring to go – his early runs at Mats Hummels threatened to set the world alight. But Messi faded, dropped deep to search for the game, and disappeared. His late free-kick was a massive letdown, and his Golden Ball undeserved. He’s still the best in the world, but he didn’t do the job in the biggest game of his life.
Gonzalo Higuain, 3:
Oh, Higuain. He had the chances. He missed the volley off Kroos’ back-header, and was offside on Lavezzi’s cross. Could have won the World Cup for his nation.
Sergio Aguero, 3:
Aguero, who still may be struggling with injuries and muscle fatigue, was absolutely useless in his 75 minutes.
Rodrigo Palacio, 3:
Palacio also missed a big chance, and couldn’t create space for himself or link effectively with his teammates. Carlos Tevez, anyone?
Fernando Gago, 5:
Didn’t have much of a say after he came on, and certainly didn’t threaten to score or create a goal.
Congratulations Germany! With that, the countdown to Russia 2018 begins.
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