Fans of Brazil react after their loss to Germany in their 2014 World Cup semi-finals at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: Reuters

Being 600km away from that mesmeric 7-1 hammering was strangely revealing

 Lionel Messi of Argentina (centre) in action against Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands (left) and Dirk Kuyt   in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photograph: Diego Azubel / EPA

Tight games can be engrossing, but not this one – and Messi and Robben suffered

Arjen Robben celebrates after the Netherlands penalty shootout win against Costa Rica, which set up a semi-final against Argentina. Photograph: Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Forget diving drama – Netherlands star has been playing at least on Messi’s level

Brazil’s Neymar grimaces after a challenge by Colombia’s Camilo Zuniga during last night’s World Cup quarter-final in Fortaleza. The playmaker has been ruled out of the tournament. Photograph: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

Reaction: Felipe Scolari admits quarter-final refereeing too lenient as Neymar ruled out

 Brazil’s David Luiz scores his side’s second goal from a free-kick against Colombia during the World Cup quarter-final at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza. Photograph:  Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Playmaker suffers broken vertebra, with Thiago Silva also ruled out of Germany semi-final through suspension

 Arjen Robben of the Netherlands (C) is fouled  by Rafael Marquez of Mexico  at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza. Photograph: EPA

‘I believe that the players showed that they had faith and believed to the very end’

Netherlands’ Robin van Persie scores a sublime goal during the match against Spain. The Dutch striker returns from suspension for the last-16 tie with Mexico. Photograph: AP/Bernat Armangue

Solid Mexico side with strong team spirit likely to pose difficulties for Netherlands

Ghana’s coach Kwesi Appiah gestures during the 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match at the Brasilia national stadium in Brasilia. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

You almost had to pity Ghana’s manager for having to speak to press after World Cup exit

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo shows his disappointment after the victory over Ghana in Brasilia. Despite their win, Portugal have been eliminated from the tournament. Photo: Jorge Silva/Reuters

2-1 victory over Ghana not enough to prevent both sides being eliminated

Spain had their only victory at the World Cup finals, against Australia, at Arena da Baixada in the city of Curitiba. Photograph: Getty Images.

No samba or sunshine yet capital of Paraná state still has plenty to offer

England manager Roy Hodgson said there were signs of progress in this World Cup but it still led to an early exit. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Luis Suarez performance highlights absence of John Terry and Ashley Cole

Luis Suarez in relaxed mood during Uruguay’s final practice session before tonight’s match against England in Sao Paulo. Photograph: Ddamir Sogolj/Reuters

Tradition suggests they are likely to make this a difficult game for England

Belgium’s national team head coach Marc Wilmots:  has emerged as an intriguing figure in their rise and will be a key influence.

Belgium take on Algeria today in their first World Cup appearance for 12 years

Iran’s Jalal Hosseini and Nigeria’s Shola Ameobi in action during the  World Cup Group F clash  at the Baixada arena in Curitiba. Photo: Henry Romero/Reuters

Bosnia perhaps the big winners from a dull scoreless Group F clash

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