A late Mario Gotze goal has secured Germany's fourth world title. A superbly taken goal worthy of winning any game. After a 24-year wait, Germany have won the World Cup. It wasn't meant to be for Lionel Messi's Argentina, with the Barcelona man failing to star. Thanks for joining me on a dramatic evening in Rio de Janeiro. Make sure you stick with us at Sky Sports for our match report, player ratings, post-match interviews and more.
FULL TIME! GERMANY ARE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD! THEY HAVE WON THE 2014 WORLD CUP!
Messi's free-kick flies wildly over the bar, and it really sums up his night. It just hasn't happened for him tonight, and Germany are moments away from winning the World Cup.
Two minutes of added time, as Argentina get a free-kick 30 yards from goal as Schweinsteiger fouls Messi. Last chance saloon for Sabella's side.
Per Mertesacker comes on for Mesut Ozil (Germany).
Muller barges through two Argentinian challenges and runs in towards goal. He attempts a cut-back towards Gotze but it's over-hit and it flies across the area, and out for a throw-in to Argentina.
Rojo plays it towards an onrushing Messi, free in the area, who heads it towards the German goal but it's rising and it eventually floats over the bar for a goal-kick.
Magnificent goalkeeping from Neuer! The ball pops out towards Rojo in the area, but Neuer sprints out and collects the ball before the left-back can have a shot on goal. He's commanded his area superbly throughout this game, and the tournament in general.
Rojo delivers a great ball into the area, but Hummels manages to clear it and it falls into the path of Biglia, but he passes to Messi rather than shooting. His pass is over-hit, and Germany get a throw-in.
The Maracana has absolutely burst into life, and a fourth world title is near. Argentina have five minutes to salvage an equaliser.
A superb run from Schurrle on the left hand side as he takes on a couple of Argentinian defenders, and he delivers a sumptuous ball into the path of Gotze, who chests and volleys the ball beyond a sprawling Romero from five yards out. What a superb finish that is. Has he just won the World Cup for Germany?
GOAL FOR GERMANY! MARIO GOTZE SCORES! 1-0 TO GERMANY!
Sami Khedira, on the touchline, is absolutely furious that Aguero has been allowed to continue. However, the game continues with Germany continuing to command possession.
Gotze fires in the free-kick towards the Argentine area, with both Muller and Demichelis clashing heads. Both have seemingly avoided serious injuries, however.
Aguero goes up for a header with Schweinsteiger, and catches the German midfielder in the face with a flying arm. Germany get a free-kick and Aguero, already booked, avoids a second yellow. He's very fortunate to avoid a sending off, as replays show Schweinsteiger is bleeding heavily.
Kroos' resulting free-kick is swung into the area, but cleared comfortably by Demichelis, who's defended superbly throughout this game.
A strange moment, as Schweinsteiger is caught by both Biglia and Mascherano midway through the Argentine half. Referee avoids booking the duo, with Mascherano already on a yellow card.
Argentina get the second half of extra time underway!
The referee signals the end of the first 15 minutes of extra time. It remains goalless.
The game has quietened down significantly as both sides show understandable signs of tiredness and fatigue.
Argentina have failed to register a single shot on target yet. Meanwhile, Mascherano is clattered by Kroos on the halfway line after challenging for a header but fortunately for him, he avoids any serious head injuries.
Argentina are camped inside their own half as Germany continue to press on their backline, but it still remains 0-0 as we pass the 100 minute mark.
Good work from Lahm as he takes on Rojo on the right-hand side, but his dinked cross is met by Mascherano who clears it away. The Barcelona midfielder has been colossal in front of the back four tonight.
It was a poorly executed finish by Palacio but credit, once again, to Neuer who sprinted off his line and put the Argentine off.
CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA! Superb ball by Rojo, who delivers it beyond Hummels and onto the chest of Palacio, who's one-on-one in the area with Neuer. He tries to dink it over the German 'keeper, but it sails wide of the goal and Germany breathe a sigh of relief.
Germany commanding possession in the early stages of this first-half, but Argentina, as they've shown throughout this tournament, look threatening on the counter attack.
An explosive start to extra time, considering the players fitness levels will have dropped significantly. Both teams look like they want to avoid penalties.
Aguero is played through by Gago and runs into the area and attempts to cut the ball back towards Messi, but he's about 30 yards behind the ball and it trickles across the area and out for a German throw-in.
CHANCE FOR GERMANY! Schurrle picks up the ball in the Argentine area and strikes it towards goal, but it's straight at Romero who manages to palm it away. Argentina then break on the counter through Messi, but Boateng executes a wonderful tackle to stop him in his tracks. Superb defending from the German.
Germany get the first half of extra time underway!
The referee blows his whistle and the game goes into extra time!
Argentina break on the counter after some sustained German pressure, and Messi picks up the ball on the left-flank and looks to take on Hummels, but the Dortmund defender executes a sensational last-ditch tackle to stop Messi and clear the ball.
Biglia gifts possession to Gotze, who runs in on goal but opts to hit a 30 yard effort rather than play in the onrushing Schurrle. A poor decision, as his effort is scuffed and rolls comfortably towards Romero.
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played
That late change will, most likely, signal the end of an illustrious international career for Miroslav Klose, who will leave the tournament as the World Cup's highest ever goalscorer.
Miroslav Klose comes off for Mario Gotze (Germany)
Biglia feeds it into Messi, but after a poor touch the ball then falls back to Biglia, who tries a 30 yard strike on goal but Schweinsteiger executes a superb tackle to block the midfielder's effort.
Enzo Perez comes off for Fernando Gago (Argentina)
Five minutes until extra time, with both sides looking rather content to play another 30 minutes, as the game has slowed down somewhat.
Palacio plays the ball to Messi, 30 yards from goal, who attempts to play a through ball towards Aguero but the Man City striker slips and the ball trickles through to Neuer.
The game is stopped momentarily as an intruder enters the pitch.
CHANCE FOR GERMANY! Ozil cuts inside from the right flank and sets up Kroos, who sprints towards the ball unopposed on the edge of the area, but the midfielder strokes his effort wide of Romero's goal. Poor effort that lacked conviction.
Chance for Germany as the ball finds its way to Howedes, free in the area, but he can't get the ball out from under his feet and Argentina manage to clear. If Howedes had a decent touch there, he would have been one-on-one with Romero just six yards out.
Germany get a corner and Schurrle aims it towards Muller, but it's slightly over-hit and the ball is eventually cleared.
Messi dances past several German challenges and looks set to burst into the area, but his touch is a bit too heavy and Neuer, rather characteristically, sprints out to smother the ball at Messi's feet.
Argentina's Rodrigo Palacio comes on for Gonzalo Higuain.
Just less than 15 minutes to go, and the World Cup could still go either way. Both sides have had their chances, but it remains goalless at the moment.
Messi picks up the ball on the edge of the area and jinks past a couple of German challenges, and tries to curl it into the bottom left corner of Neuer's goal, but it flies way wide.
Mascherano aims a long ball towards Messi on the right byline, but he fails to control the ball and it flies out for a throw in. Sums up his night so far, as he's failed to have a big impact on the game.
A German throw in is nodded on towards SCchurrle, who attempts an audacious 30 yard volley beyond Romero, but it sails harmlessly over the bar.
After some neat, intricate play on the edge of the Argentine area, the ball falls to Schurrle who bursts in on goal, but his touch is heavy and the ball goes through to Romero. Decent opportunity wasted by a poor touch.
Lahm is fouled by Biglia midway through the Argentinian half, but Germany opt to keep the ball in midfield rather than pump it into Romero's area.
Great ball from Mascherano finds Rojo on the left flank, unopposed, but his driven delivery is poor and Germany clear the ball comfortably.
It's taken far too quickly by Biglia and his delivery is caught comfortably by Neuer.
Argentina break on the counter through Messi, who feeds it into Biglia and he's fouled by Klose midway through the German half. Good chance to whip a delivery into Neuer's area.
Sergio Aguero is now booked after his late challenge catches Schweinsteiger.
Mascherano booked for a late challenge on the halfway line on Klose.
Superbly persistent play from Aguero as he shrugs off the challenge of Hummels to ensure his side get a corner. It's delivered in towards Aguero, but his effort flies over the bar and Germany are awarded a goal kick, with replays showing that Klose had the last touch.
After a mistake from Demichelis, Germany pick up the ball and the ball is threaded through to Schurrle on the left byline, who delivers a venomous ball into the area towards Ozil, but it has too much pace on it and he can't control it. It flies out for an Argentine goal kick.
Some nice play from Lahm as the collects the ball outside of the Argentinian area, cuts inside but then opts to pass to Muller rather than shoot on goal. His pass is over hit, and the ball trickles out for a goal-kick.
A deep cross into the Argentinian area is met by Klose, who heads down towards Romero's goal but it lacks power, and it bounces comfortably into the Argentina 'keeper's grasp.
The game resumes with Argentina's medical team deeming Higuain fit enough to continue.
Break in play as Higuain receives treatment from the physios, while Sabella cuts a furious figure on the sidelines as he wanted a free-kick for his side.
Zabaleta plays a long ball over the German backline towards Higuain, and Neuer gets to the ball first but clatters into the Argentine forward. Dangerous play from the 'keeper, but the referee opts to give Germany a free-kick. Higuain is furious, and falls to the floor in need of treatment.
Kroos' corner is delivered deep towards Muller, but the Bayern Munich man is penalised for holding an Argentine shirt and concedes a free-kick.
Schurrle is tripped by Zabaleta on the edge of the Argentine area, and the ball falls to Muller who drills it into the area, but Argentina clear it for a corner. Schurrle wanted a free-kick, but the referee played a decent advantage.
The game is being played at a significantly higher pace than the first-half, with Argentina commanding the lion's share of possession in the early stages.
Ozil plays it towards Howedes on the left-hand side who has the chance to break into the Argentine area, but Zabaleta gets across and executes a full-blooded tackle to stop the German full-back and clear the ball from danger.
Mascherano attempts to thread the ball through to Messi, but he's standing in an offside position and lets the ball pass him and go for out a goal-kick.
Perez gifts the ball to Klose who runs in towards Romero's goal, but Mascherano gets across to perfectly slide tackle the German forward on the edge of the area.
It's a really bright start for Argentina, but can they continue this impressive few minutes? A fascinating half in store.
CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA! Messi is one-on-one with Neuer, to the left of the German area, but the Barcelona man scuffs his effort wide of the right-hand post. The Maracana stood still for a moment and looked set to erupt, but it remains 0-0.
Mascherano dinks it over towards Higuain, free in the area, but he drills his effort across the German goal. He had been flagged for offside, however.
Argentina's Ezequiel Lavezzi is replaced by Sergio Aguero.
Argentina get the second half underway!
And after that Howedes chance, the referee blows for half-time and ends a fascinating 45 minutes. A really tight encounter. Stay tuned for a dramatic second-half.
BIG CHANCE FOR GERMANY! Kroos' superb corner find Howedes, who's free 6 yards out, but can only head it straight against the post. Replays show that he really should have scored, as Argentina breath a heavy sigh of relief.
Two minutes of added time to be played.
Muller picks up the ball on the right-hand side of the Argentine area, and delivers a fantastic curling ball towards Klose, who can't stretch enough and the ball flies across the area and out for a goal kick. Klose was inches away from heading in the opener.
Mascherano gives the ball away on the halfway line and Germany counter attack, and Ozil finds Schurrle on the edge of the area but his tame effort goes straight into the arms of Romero. Schurrle was free on the edge of the area and will be disappointed with his effort.
Muller sparks some Argentine anger after going down softly under a Garay challenge. The referee intervens well and the situation is calmed down.
Messi bursts past Hummels and drives into the area towards Neuer, and his effort gets past the Bayern 'keeper and bobbles around the 6 yard area, but Boateng is there to clear the ball before any Argentine player can tap it in.
As expected, it's been a very tight contest so far and you have to say, Argentina have had the best chance so far through Higuain's chance in the 21st minute.
Klose picks up the ball on the left byline and cuts it back to Schurrle, free in the area, who fires it towards Romero who pulls off a great save to divert it around the post. Not a corner though, as Ozil was adjudged to have been in an offside position after Schurrle's effort.
Argentina's corner eventually comes to nothing, and Germany keep the ball and break on the counter...
Argentina burst on the counter through Messi, who has Lavezzi and Higuain either side of him in the German area, but Howedes is there to block the pass to Higuain and clear it for a corner.
Klose tries to take on Rojo and Perez, just outside the Argentine area, but the duo battle to the ball and clear it away from danger. Superb teamwork.
Benedikt Howedes booked for a late challenge on Pablo Zabaleta just over the halfway line.
An unsavoury end to Kramer's World Cup dream, with his first competitive start limited to just half an hour.
Andre Schurrle comes on for Christoph Kramer, who has struggled to shake off his earlier head injury. He looks really groggy as he's assisted down the tunnel by two physios.
Lavezzi delivers a sumptuously drilled ball into the area, towards Gonzalo Higuain who taps it in from six yards out...but it's ruled offside! It took Higuain about 10 seconds for him to realise. Argentina's celebrations cut short.
Schweinsteiger's booked for his foul.
Schweinsteiger fouls Lavezzi just over the half-way line, giving Argentina the chance to attack Neuer's goal.
A drilled German cross is narrowly missed by Muller but the ball continues towards goal, and Romero gets down well to tip the ball around the post. Wouldn't have counted though, as the German striker was offside.
Schweinsteiger dinks the ball over the top towards Klose, who times his run to perfection, but Romero sprints out to catch the ball before Klose has the chance to head it on goal.
Germany continue to hold onto the ball midway through the Argentine half, with Sabella's side continuing to sit back. So far, Low's side haven't really threatened Romero.
Ozil picks up the ball 30 yards out, turns and tries to thread the ball through to Klose but Garay gets across to stop the German striker before he can hit an effort on goal. Expert defending from the Zenit centre back.
Muller almost bursts through on goal after neat play on the edge of the Argentine area, but Demichelis puts in a great last-ditch tackle to stop the Bayern Munich man in his tracks.
Replays show the Argentine bench in disbelief after Higuain's miss. It really was a golden opportunity for the Napoli striker.
BIG CHANCE FOR ARGENTINA! Kroos heads the ball back towards his goal, without looking, and presents it to Higuain who's one-on-one with Neuer, but he scuffs his effort wide. What an opportunity, and you can hear Kroos' sigh of relief from here...
After a brief pause in play, Kramer receives treatment and the game resumes.
Break in play with Kramer receiving treatment after Garay collided with the German midfielder, who suffered a strong knock to his head.
Argentina break on the counter through Messi, but he has little support over the half-way line, and the attack eventually falls to nothing.
Lahm swings a cross from the right-hand side and Demichelis attempts to clear it away, but the sun catches his eye and he clears it straight out for a corner. Fortunately for him, Germany's corner is poor and dealt with.
Kroos swings it in, but Zabaleta is there to clear before it reaches a German player. Good defending from the Manchester City player.
A late challenge from Demichelis on Klose gives Germany another free-kick in a very promising position, with Kroos standing over the ball 25 yards out...
Early signs show that late starter Christoph Kramer is playing in a much more advanced position than his teammate Sami Khedira.
Argentina get a corner and it's Lavezzi who delivers, but his cross is poor and it finds the first man, Klose, who clears the ball easily.
Another dangerous ball into the area from Argentina, this time through Zabaleta, but his cross evades everyone and trickles out of the box and away from danger.
Argentina show that counter-attacking danger they possess through Messi, who bursts past Hummels and drives into the area and delivers a ball into the area, but Schweinsteiger's there to clear before Lavezzi can get there.
It's been Germany with the most possession so far, as Argentina are camped in their own half seemingly happy to contain and counter attack.
Lahm delivers a teasing ball into the area, but it's too close to Romero who gathers the ball easily.
A sensational atmosphere in the Maracana, with Argentina having a monumental amount of supporters inside the stadium roaring them on.
Muller drills a cross into the Argentine area and a deflection almost guides the ball into the path of Ozil, 6 yards out unopposed, but Romero is there to smother the ball.
Argentina break on the counter and Higuain picks the ball up on the right-hand side of the area, but his low effort is hit wide of Neuer's goal.
Germany try a free-kick from the training ground and it's tapped to Schweinsteiger who smashes it towards goal, but he drills it straight into the Argentine wall and the ball is cleared from danger.
Mascherano's backwards header drops to Muller, 25 yards from goal, who is clattered by Marcos Rojo. Germany have an excellent chance to test Romero in the early stages with a free-kick.
Neat German play around the Argentina area, and the ball falls to Muller who attempts to thread it through to Ozil, but he overhits it and Romero collects the loose ball comfortably
Germany get the final underway!
The national anthems have been sung, and we're now just a few minutes away from kick-off.
Big team news for Germany! In a late change, midfielder Sami Khedira has been ruled out with a calf injury and will be replaced by Christoph Kramer. Kramer makes his first competitive start for Germany, and what an incredible time to make your debut!
Just under ten minutes to go until kick-off. The players will be emerging from the changing rooms any moment from now, and will be welcomed onto the iconic Maracana pitch by a wall of sound. A huge game is just moments away...
If you're thinking of placing a similar bet to Matthew's, then why not head over to our pals at Sky Bet. You can get Andre Schurrle to score in 90 minutes at 11/4, while a 3-2 Argentina win is at 50/1. A Germany win is at 7/5, a draw is at 9/4 while an Argentina win is at 23/10.
Matthew Dillon reckons Argentina will win their third World Cup: "As much as I dislike Argentina ( I was there in 1986 hand of god) I do think they will win. My only bet on the game is Schurrle anytime goal scorer. My prediction 3-2 to Argentina."
@Shadystraz360 is predicting a goal-fest: "I'm hoping for another "down to the wire" game. Finish 3-3 and go to penalties... Messi to win it for Argentina," while Jordan Chappell (@kaichappell25) says: "Argentina 3-1 win but Müller to score first. Messi double too. Gonna be a great final!"
Here's Arther Andrews from Hartlepool, who's emailed in to say: "I don't see anything different about the way this German team plays their football to previous German sides. I think they played a poor Brazilian side (this showed in the Holland game too) and I think the Argentinians have got stronger as the tournament has progressed. They will be very hard to break down (unlike Brazil). Argentina to keep Germany out, and win 2-0."
Here's a few more of your predictions. Chris Green has emailed in to say: "Germany to win 2-0, with Muller and Klose scoring the goals. Don't get me wrong, Messi is certainly one of the best footballers of his generation - but I think he'll struggle to make an impact this evening, as I expect Germany's defence to withstand any pressure from the Barcelona player," while Faisal Ahmed (@fuzzyy99), also predicts a disappointing evening for the Argentine superstar: "Messi needs to play well, but the Kroos-Khedira partnership will destroy Argentina 3-0, Muller (2) Kroos (1) scoring.
Lionel Messi has been the most creative player at World Cup 2014, setting up a tournament-high 21 goal-scoring chances for team-mates. Messi has embarked on a tournament-high 65 dribbles so far, completing (another-high) 39 of them. He's scored five World Cup goals to date, but none of them in the knockout stages.
Argentina are set to play in their fifth World Cup final, they have won two and lost two of the previous four. They've yet to concede a goal in the knock-out stages at this tournament (despite playing extra-time in two of their three games). Alejandro Sabella's side have won nine out of 20 games against Germany (D5 L6) and the last meeting (August 2012, Frankfurt) saw Argentina win 3-1.
Thomas Muller (2010 and 2014) and Miroslav Klose (2002 and 2006) are the only players in history to score 5+ goals at consecutive World Cup tournaments, while Muller is the first-ever Golden Boot winner to reproduce his number of goals at the following World Cup (five goals in 2010, five in 2014). The Bayern Munich striker could also become the first player ever to win the Golden Boot at successive World Cups.
Germany are set to play in their eighth World Cup final; more than any other nation. They have won three titles and have now reached a World Cup final in each of the last seven decades (1954, 1966, 1974, 1982 and 86, 1990, 2002 and now 2014). Die Mannschaft have won three and lost just one of the previous six World Cup encounters with Argentina (D2), and they also won the penalty shootout in 2006 against the South American side.
Here's some more big-match stats, and first up we'll focus on Germany...
Serafino Palazzo is going for a South American win: "I think there's too much hype about Germany, they were as good as Brazil were poor, it's a tough 1-0 win for Argentina for me, another Mascherano mastershow!" And here's Yousef's view (@JoenunuYousef): "I'm expecting a win from Germany because they have gone a long way and had an impossible victory in the match vs Brazil."
Ben David has emailed in to say: "Germans will control this game. I think Argentina will be defensively strong but Germany will wear them out in the later stages of the game. I think the score will be 3-1 Germany. Ozil, Muller and Kroos to get the goals," while Nigel Taylor has tweeted in to say: "3-2 Germany. Messi scores two 1st half goals then Germany score 3 in the 2nd half."
As expected, your predictions are flying in already. First up is Katy (@AuntieKaty), who says: "Going for Germany for the win even though before the world cup started I put my money on Argentina to lift the cup," while Darren Inglis (@InglisDarren) reckons: "2-0 Argentina, with Messi scoring both goals and pick up the man of match and tournament awards!"
Klose has scored more World Cup goals than any other player in history and as many as the entire current Argentinian squad, and only Lothar Matthaus (25) has played more World Cup games than him (23, as many as Paolo Maldini). Klose is also the only player in both squads who has already played in a World Cup final (2002, 0-2 v Brazil).
The World Cup's all-time highest goalscorer Miroslav Klose starts for Germany tonight, and here's a few stats for the Lazio man courtesy of our friends at Opta...
So, Germany and Argentina will battle it out for the biggest prize in world football. The 2014 World Cup has seen a mammoth 169 goals scored, which is just two shy of the record for a World Cup. A record-breaking night awaits, and I want to hear your predictions. Send me them via Twitter @davidalexbowers or by email: email@example.com. I'll try my best to get your views published!
Argentina's XI: Romero, Garay, Zabaleta, Biglia, Perez, Higuain, Messi (c), Mascherano, Demichelis, Rojo, Lavezzi.
Germany's XI: Neuer; Lahm, Hummels, Boateng, Howedes; Schweinsteiger, Khedira; Muller, Kroos, Ozil; Klose.
Good evening and welcome to Sky Sports' live and interactive text commentary of the 2014 World Cup final between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana. The finale to a fantastic tournament awaits in just over an hour, and that all-important team news has arrived...
Kick-off for the World Cup final is at 20:00 BST...