Germany became the first European country to win the World Cup on South American soil as Joachim Low's side claimed football's greatest prize for the first time for 24 years.

Their fourth title was delivered via Mario Gotze's brilliantly taken extra time goal as Lionel Messi was upstaged at the Maracana.

The hard-fought match was decided in the 23rd minute of the extra time when one of the new breed on the German side broke the deadlock. Schurrle raided down the left and Gotze drifted in behind the Argentine back four, controlled first time and smashed past Sergio Romero.

As the final whislte in 2014 World Cup blew minutes later both teams were a contrast of emotions on the Marcana pitch. German players embraced their families while Argentina's players were motionless. Their big chances came and went, and Germany took theirs with aplomb.

Here's a detailed account of the enticing final match, as we wind up the live blog:

22:54: Well as Germany prepare to be presented with the World Cup we must say goodbye on this live text, which brings an end to our coverage of Brazil 2014. For all those that joined us along the way, thank you and until next time, goodbye.

22:51: While there will be plenty of debate about whether this German side can go on and dominate like Spain and Brazil have gone before, but I fancy the standing of Lionel Messi within the world game will be discussed at some length in the coming days. Messi will be 31 when the next World Cup comes around in 2018 in Russia and you must wonder will he have a better chance to win the biggest international prize around? You fancy not and without that success, can he compared with the Pele's and Maradona's of this world? You doubt it.

Full time: Germany 1-0 Argentina - GERMANY WIN THE 2014 WORLD CUP

22:37: Over the top. Germany on the brink.

22:35: Free kick for Argentina 25 yards from goal. Lionel Messi over it.

22:31: Argentine coming hard now and Rojo runs onto a bouncing ball down the left of the penalty area, but Neuer comes out, taps the ball over the left-back and catches the loose ball. Terrific goalkeeping. Now Messi heads over from a looping cross. Time running out.

22:29: Argentina have just over five minutes to keep their World Cup dream alive. Can Lionel Messi produce?

22:28: The deadlock broken by one of the new breed. Schurrle raids down the left crosses and Gotze drifts in behind the Argentine back four, controls first time and smashes past Sergio Romero.

Goal: Germany 1-0 Argentina (Mario Gotze)

22:24: Bastian Schweinsteiger has taken a few blows this evening. Taken out by Biglia and Mascherano and now punched in the air by Sergio Aguero. Already booked is the Manchester City striker but to be honest, he should have seen red. Schweinsteiger leaves the field with blood pouring from his face. Germany down to 10 temporarily.

22:20: Back under way in extra time in Rio.

22:18: Another rallying cry from Sabella to his Argentina players. Germany's team are getting a lot of treatment as we approach the final 15 minutes of this final. Who will outlast the other or are heading for another penalty shoot-out?

Half time in extra time: Germany 0-0 Argentina

22:12: In Palacio and Aguero, Argentina have two players painfully off the pace in this final and as a result they are showing nothing going forward and are really struggling to get out of their own half. Germany seeing plenty of the ball but in truth even they are somewhat lacklustre in possession.

22:08: Another genuine chance in this final and it comes for Argentina. A Rojo cross floats over the head of Hummels and Palacio controls and lifts the ball over the onrushing Neuer before wide of goal. Really, really good chance.

22:03: Almost a goal at both ends in a whirlwind start to the first extra time period. Schurrle exchanges passes with Schurrle who tests Romero, who beats away his effort. Argentine break straight away but Hummels makes a brilliant challenge on Aguero who looked away and clear.

22:00: Under way in the first half of extra time. Will we get a goal?

21:56: So after an open 90 minutes at the Maracana, we go to extra time between Germany and Argentina. Just three shots on target during normal time and the game could become more open as nerves start to take their toil. Argentina have already prevailed after extra time in two of their three knock-out games, so will surely be feeling it in the legs as the game continues.

Full time: Germany 0-0 Argentina

21:52: Half chance for Germany in the first minute of added time as Gotze shoots from range and is denied by a simple save from Romero.

21:51: Three added minutes in the World Cup final in Rio.

21:49: Second change for Germany. Miroslav Klose off and Mario Gotze on. Less than two minutes left.

21:47: I must say Sergio Aguero has looked hopelessly off the pace since coming on at half time. He fails to link up with Messi as Argentina go on the attack. No real rhythem to their attacks in this second half. Final change for Argentina as Fernando Gago comes on for Enzo Perez.

21:43: Germany are ending normal time the better here and Toni Kroos should make more of his effort from 20 yards, after Lahm's cross, which goes harmlessly wide. Just seven minutes left until extra time. Please no.

21:42: Chance for Germany. The ball is rolled into the penalty spot where Howedes lies but he gets the ball caught under his feet and the chance is gone. Argentina live again but having moved Messi central they have a greater threat themselves. Next goal wins in Rio.

21:38: Second change for Argentina. Rodrigo Palacio coming on for Gonzalo Higuain. An evening of what ifs for the Real Madrid man. Germany still have two substitutions remaining with 12 minutes left.

21:35: Since missing that guilt-edged chance early in the second half, Lionel Messi has gone awfully quiet and is fortunes are summed up by a lapse on the left which goes out of play. Now better from the Barcelona man who comes inside and from 20 yards curls one towards the far post, but wide.

21:31: This game is very open but you fancy that one goal will still decide the outcome. Argentina are slowing down ever Germany attack with some cynical fouls while the South Americans are lacking a final ball. Schurrle almost goes through but Romero gathers after Muller's miscontrol.

21:27: Getting very physical out there as we approach the mid-way point in this second half. Aguero wipes out Schweinsteiger on the right as Germany build and a yellow card comes the substitutes' way.

21:25: Argentina getting caught an awful lot in this second half, trying to pass their way out and Germany almost take advantage. Schurrle is fed down the left after Garay losses the ball but the cross hits Ozil and goes behind.

21:21: Not seen much of Miroslav Klose, the new leading scorer in World Cup history, in this final but he's invovled as the game approaches the hour mark, heading down and at Sergio Romero. Germany coming back into the game now.

21:19: Gonzalo Higuain takes a wack from an onrushing Manuel Neuer, who comes to punch a long through ball. The referee somehow gives a free-kick against the Argentine striker, who has to recieve treatment for the blow. Not happy is the Real Madrid striker.

21:16: Schurrle turns inside and Muller crosses, only for Argentina to clear behind for a corner. Muller fouls Rojo from the resulting set-piece and Germany waste their chance.

21:12: Some disbelief that Messi squandered that chance for Argentina as Germany continue to play their way into this second half. Not got going have Low's team.

21:08: Higuain springs free on the right but he's flagged offside. Now here is Lionel Messi's moment, he gets free, left channel of the penaty area but he shoots wide of Neuer's goal. That was the moment.

21:06: Argentina get us back under way in Rio.

21:04: Both teams on their way in Rio. Germany waiting in the tunnel while Argentina stroll out second. Ready to go in this second half.

21:02: So that first 45 minutes suggests we could be in for a stunning second half but always there is that nagging doubt that both teams could opt to close this game down the closer we reach the end of normal time. Argentina have looked exciting on the break but Germany have controlled long periods of the game.

20:50: A first half in keeping with what has been a glorious World Cup. Germany and Argentina have thrown everything at each other but without opening the scoring in Rio. Higuain and Howedes are among the guilty parties at the Maracana and surely we will get goals in the second half. Excellent first half.

Half time: Germany 0-0 Argentina

20:49: WHAT A MISS! Germany should be ahead in the World Cup final. The second corner comes in and Howedes comes in totally unmarked but heads against the post from six yards. Amazing end to a thrilling half.

20:47: Two minutes added on at the end oft he first half. Germany corner.....

20:45: Chance for Germany as we reach half-time. Muller feeds Klose on the edge of the box, who tees up Schweinsteiger but Romero is equal to the effort.

20:43: Another chance for Argentina, and they're coming with more regularity for the two-time winners. Messi skips through down the left hand side and when he nicks the ball past Neuer, Boateng comes to the rescue with a goal-line clearance.

20:40: I mentioned Andre Schurrle's impact from the bench in this tournament and with his first touch since replacing Kramer he almost puts Germany ahead. Muller gets in behind down the left and his pull-back finds the Chelsea man who sees Romero turn away his side-footed effort. Coming to the boil this one.

20:38: Argentina growing into this final and becoming the dominant force. Messi almost plays through Gonzalo Higuain but Germany smuggle the ball behind for a corner, which is taken at the first attempt bu Manuel Neuer.

20:36: Is Benedikt Höwedes lucky to be on the field still? He lunges in very high on Javier Mascherano and becomes the second player to be booked, after Bastian Schweinsteiger and is a tad fortunate not to have been punished further.

20:33: Argentina think they have the lead in Rio. Lavezzi crosses from the right after Germany press men forward, but Higuain converts from eight yards from an offside position. Higuain wheels away in celebration but is finally halted. Change for Germany as Kramer, dazed in that challenge with Rojo earlier, is replaced by Andre Schurrle who has three goals from the bench in this tournament.

20:27: No doubt the opening 25 minutes of this final has exceeded what we were put through in 2010, when Netherlands bullied Spain. Both teams have thrown caution to the wind in the hope of gaining the early advantage. More of the same please.

20:23: Toni Kroos puts the ball on a plate for Gonzalo Higuain and Argentina should be ahead. The Bayern man heads the ball back towards his own goal but it's hopelessly underhit and Higuain standing all alone goes through, but drags his effort wide of Neuer's goal. Huge let off for the Germans.

20:20: Really nasty blow to Christoph Kramer early on in this World Cup final. He gets a wack to the head from full-back Rojo from a throw in and stays down before getting length treatment. Like Javier Mascherano in the final, he looks like he will continue. Football's naive and stupid approach to head injuries continues.


20:16: Klose almost latches onto a Muller cross from the right as Germany come again. Germany win a free-kick 30 yards from goal, to the left and Kroos will swing it in. The Bayern man takes it towards the back post but Zabaleta heads away.

20:13: Very end to end start to this final and it's Argentina's turn to have a go. Zabaleta is released down the right but his cross is inbetween Perez and Higuain. Biglia shoots from a range and wins a corner for a deflection off Howedes, but the set piece comes to nothing as Neuer gathers a harmless cross.

20:10: Argentina haven't conceded a goal since the group stage but they look dangerously exposed on the left, down the side of Marcos Rojo and it's helped Germany get right into their stride during the early moments of this final. Muller crosses from the right and Romero saves. Now Messi gets away down the right, away from Hummels but his pull-back is intercepted.

20:07: Some nice interplay from Germany in their first genuine attack of the final. Ozil releases Schweinsteiger on the right but his cross is diverted back towards Romero.

20:06: Marcos Rojo welcomes Thomas Muller to this World Cup final, clattering the 2010 golden boot winner to the floor 30 yards from goal. Five German players surround the ball in a commitee before the ball is struck against the wall. Argentina break straight from it and Higuain shoots wide of Neuer's goal. Good start.

20:01: Under way in Rio. Germany kick-off the 20th World Cup final.

19:59: Anthems are done and we're almost ready to go in Rio.

19:56: Teams in the tunnel in Rio. Kramer, the late chance for Khedira, has played just twice in this World Cup, both as a substitute and both while coming on in the final minute of the games against Algeria and France.

19:53: Breaking news from the Maracana and it surrounds the German team. Sami Khedira, scorer of one of the seven against Brazil, misses out with a calf injury and will be replaced by Christoph Kramer from the start. Huge blow for Joachim Low's side just minutes before kick-off.

19:49: The World Cup trophy has been brought out onto the Maracana pitch by former Spanish international Carlos Puyol and Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen (me neither) in a Louis Vuitton case, which makes me want to vomit. We're almost ready to go in Rio.

19:41: Following years of dreary finals in previous World Cups, what can we expect tonight between Germany and Argentina? Even aside from the 7-1 humiliation of Brazil, Germany's run to the final has been littered with goals against an Argentina team who have kept four clean sheets in six games, with two of those coming in games whcih went to extra time. We can expect much the same from the Argentines I would expect, with Germany attempt to shackle Lionel Messi and control the ball in midfield. I fear a stalemate.

19:36: As much as hosts Brazil have attempted to wrestle away the centre-stage at this World Cup, there has been sense of inevitability about Lionel Messi's date with destiny in Rio. After guiding Argentina almost single-handedly to the final, not unlike a certain Diego Maradona in 1986, Messi has his best and maybe only chance to emulate the individual to which he is often compared. Tonight represents Messi's chance to become his country's finest ever player, not to mention one of the finest players to play the game.

19:31: Argentina have had a far more minimalist run to tonight's final at the Maracana. Tight wins over Bosnia and Iran, which both required goals from Lionel Messi, were followed by another masterclass by the four-time world footballer of the year against Nigeria. Messi was back to his hold tricks to help Argentina beat Switzerland in the 120th minute in the last 16, before an early Gonzalo Higuain effort knocked-out Belgium. In the semi-final, Alejandro Sabella's side needed goalkeeper Sergio Romero to help slalom past Netherlands on penalties.

19:26: Let's have a closer look at Germany's route to the final. They began by taking full advantage of Portugal's indiscipline before drawing with Ghana in an entertaining game. Victory over USA saw them through to the last 16, where they required a late Mesut Ozil goal to beat Algeria. The semi-final saw one of the most stunning results in World Cup history, as they beat hosts Brazil 7-1 in Sao Paulo. They play in an eighth World Cup final with the best all-round squad in the tournament and under a boss in Joachim Low who has done everything with this team, bar claiming silverware. They won't get a better chance tonight.

19:19: That's the team news out of the way, so now lets forward to the third World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. The German are seeking to win their fourth World Cup and their first since 1990, while Argentina are chasing a third, having last won the tournament in 1986. In Germany we have the best team in the tournament so far while in Lionel Messi we have Argentina's one-man winning machine.

19:15: Before we get into previewing tonight final, a look at both teams. Germany are as expected, with Miroslav Klose, as has been the trend in the knock-out stage, starting up front while Thomas Muller who is chasing a second successive World Cup golden boot among a five-man midfield. Mats Hummels has recovered from injury to play.

Angel di Maria misses the final after sitting out the semi-final with a thigh injury, with Enzo Perez starting in a three behind Gonzalo Higuain. Sergio Aguero also misses out from the start.

19:10: Teams

Germany: Neuer, Howedes, Hummels, Khedira, Schweinsteiger, Ozil, Klose, Muller, Lahm (c), Kroos, Boateng

Argentina: Romero, Garay, Zabaleta, Biglia, Perez, Higuain, Messi (c), Mascherano, Demichelis, Rojo, Lavezzi

19:00: After 63 matches across four and a half weeks, we come to the crescendo to the greatest show on earth. An entertaining and at times shocking World Cup finals in Brazil plays host to Germany against Argentina in tonight's final, a fitting end to a tournament which will be best remembered for a free-flowing start. Will we get a thrilling finish? Live coverage of all the events in Rio on the way.