After four weeks of spectacular tournament football, the final of the World Cup turned out to be a war of attrition as Germany battled it out with Lionel Messi's Argentina for the right to be called World Champions.
And it was the European side who prevailed after a wonderful extra-time strike by substitute Mario Goetze.
The young Bayern Munich attacker scored the winner in the 113th minute after replacing Miroslav Klose shortly before the full-time whistle.
His chest control and tremendous volley will be remembered as one of the World Cup final's greatest winning goals in history.
Despite Germany's destruction of Brazil in the semi-final, they were unable to break down a dogged Argentine defence, with the South American's having the better chances to win the game in normal time.
But it was Joachim Low's team who prevailed, taking control of the contest in extra time as their opponents began to tire and fade.
Here we take a look at the World Cup final's most impressive performers:
In a match that developed into a midfield battle, it was Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger who took control of the centre of the pitch to drive his team on to victory.
The 29-year-old Bayern Munich man had a torturous time during the game, being the subject of several heavy tackles from Argentinians and suffering a cut eye in extra time.
But the imperious German prevailed and dominated just when his team needed it most.
Schweinsteiger gave Low the solid foundation that he needed in his 4-3-3 but the Argentina midfield battled hard for most of the match.
The player was booked early on in the game, in the 29th minute, but this did not stop him getting around the pitch and holding firm.
During the match, Schweinsteiger had a spectacular 124 touches of the ball, per WhoScored.com, achieving a magnificent 90 percent passing accuracy.
In the main, he kept Messi quiet in what was supposed to be the Argentina captain's greatest night.
Metro's Marc McArdle tweeted about Schweinsteiger's performance, praising the player's tenacity.
Schweinsteiger's had a match-winning performance on Sunday evening, and with Sami Khedira falling foul to injury just before the start of the game, the player needed to have a huge match for Germany. And he did not disappoint. If anyone deserves to call themselves a World Champion, it is Bastian.
After a fantastic end to his Premier League season with Manchester City, Argentina centre-back Martin Demichelis has continued to roll back the years at the World Cup.
The 33-year-old has been solid as a rock for his country throughout the competition and his performance against Germany almost helped his nation to a famous win.
And if Gonzalo Higuain and Messi had been more accurate in front of goal, it is Demichelis who would have guaranteed the clean sheet and victory.
It is now strange to think that Demichelis was somewhat of a joke signing by City 12 months ago, brought in to make up the numbers in an already-inflated squad.
But despite his lack of mobility, and as he showed in the final on Sunday, he has brilliant spatial awareness and his timing is close to perfection.
He does not allow quicker attackers get the better of him and arguably he kept Thomas Mueller under wraps for most of the tie.
Argentina might have been beaten in the final but the City defender certainly was not a loser.
Jerome Boateng is an unlikely hero for Germany when compared to his illustrious squad members but the versatile Bayern Munich defender had one of his best matches in the final against Argentina.
He was so good that WhoScored.com gave him a performance rating of 8.3―the highest of any player on the Maracana pitch.
Boateng was athletic and intelligent on Sunday night and made life difficult for both Higuain and Sergio Aguero in the final third.
Of course, the player has featured many times for club and country at full-back but he proved just how good he is in a central position.
Boateng took 97 touches of the ball in the final, per WhoScored.com, and kept possession at the times Germany needed a calming influence.
It was a massive performance from a player that many do not rate as truly top class.
On Sunday night, the Germans were deserved winners despite Argentina having a couple of chances to bury the match in their favour. Their defensive and midfield units were as good as they have been throughout the competition and they needed to be against a resolute team.
Messi could not find the extra gear needed to drive his side over the finish line but credit must go to the likes of Schweinsteiger and Boateng who were close to perfection in their approach to the game. They ensured that when the time came for Goetze to win the match, Germany were in control of their own destiny still.