German captain Philipp Lahm in action in the World Cup final. Martin O’Neill says Lahm’s move back into defence was key to Germany’s triumph. Photograph:  Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

Republic of Ireland manager looking forward to playing World champions

Arjen Robben of the Netherlands celebrates after winning their 2014 World Cup round of 16 game against Mexico at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

It was an authentic slice of Latin life that will linger long in the memory

Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates his team’s win over Brazil after their 2014 World Cup semi-finals at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte.  Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

A World Cup winner’s medal would cap the career of the outstanding German midfielder

Argentina fans descend on Copacabana Beach, Rio, yesterday. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Devoted fans set to get behind South American finalists

Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands tackles Lionel Messi during Wednesday’s semi-final in Sao Paulo. “The only thing that counts is the title.” Photograph:  Jamie Squire/Getty Images

With a third of their squad 24 or under this World Cup will stand to them

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero of Argentina saves the penalty of Dutch defender Ron Vlaar. Photograph: Marcelo Sayao / EPA

Argentina’s manager heaps praise on Mascherano as Van Gaal criticises playoff

Argentina’s goalkeeper Sergio Romero saves a penalty kick by Ron Vlaar of the Netherlands at the Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo. Photograph: Michael Dalder / Reuters

Sergio Romero the hero as goalkeeper saves two Dutch penalties after goalless 120 minutes

Brazil’s David Luiz (left) is consoled by his captain  Thiago Silva after their 7-1 defeat to   Germany in their 2014 World Cup semi-final in Belo Horizonte. Photogrpah:  Eddie Keogh / Reuters

Emmet Malone from a stunned Belo Horizonte where Germans put seven past Julio Cesar

Germany’s head coach Joachim Low attends a team training session at Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Neymar’s injury is neither forgotten nor forgiven but his team-mates will play for their absent friend

More articles