World Cup Final highlights and match report: Germany 1-0 Argentina
Germany were crowned world champions for the fourth time thanks to a stunning extra-time winner from super-sub Mario Gotze.
Argentina were preparing for a penalty shoot-out in the Maracana, but in the 113th minute Gotze chested down Andre Schurrle's cross and volleyed home to cap a historic victory for the jubilant Germans.
It will take a while for Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Rodrigo Palacio to forget this defeat.
They were all guilty of missing good chances to give Argentina what would have been a glorious win in the home of their fiercest rivals Brazil.
Tens of thousands of Argentinians had flooded Rio hoping to see Messi inspire his team to their third World Cup win.
This was Messi's chance to put himself on a par with his idol Diego Maradona.
But unlike in 1986, when Maradona captained Argentina to victory against the Germans, this was the Mannschaft's night.
And there would be few who would argue they did not deserve it.
It did not take for this game to live up to its pre-match billing as the ball flew from one end to another amid a backdrop of raucous noise, particularly from the Argentinians.
Higuain shot wide from a tight angle early on and Messi used his trickery to prize open the Germany defence, but Bastian Schweinsteiger put in a block.
Miroslav Klose came agonisingly close to heading home Philipp Lahm's cross at the other end.
Higuain then missed a glorious chance. Toni Kroos headed the ball over his own back four towards Higuain, who watched the ball drop perfectly on to his right foot.
Despite being two yards ahead of the chasing Mats Hummels, the Napoli striker dragged his shot wide. Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella was stunned. Substitute Sergio Aguero was so embarrassed for his team-mate that he pulled his training top over his head.
Higuain thought he had made amends when he tucked away Lavezzi's cross, but he was offside Cristoph Kramer, who had taken a knock to the head earlier, hobbled off and was replaced by Schurrle.