(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader). Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose, left, embrace after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014.
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader). Germany's Mario Goetze kisses the trophy after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 13, 2014.
Thursday, July 24 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:33:43 GMT
A jury in St. Paul is set to resume deliberating for a third day whether a man regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history libeled former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in his memoir.More >>
A jury in St. Paul has reconvened for a third day to deliberate whether a man regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history defamed former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura in his memoir.More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:35:50 GMT
By The Associated Press Since the start of the year, executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona have gone awry, with inmates gasping for breath as lethal drugs coursed through their bodies. The...More >>
By The Associated Press Since the start of the year, executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona have gone awry, with inmates gasping for breath as lethal drugs coursed through their bodies. The Associated...More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 8:23 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:23:59 GMT
A more efficient system must be established to alert residents of danger in North Dakota's booming oil patch, an emergency manager and residents said, after authorities failed to alert the public for more than...More >>
A more efficient system must be established to alert residents of danger in North Dakota's booming oil patch, an emergency manager and residents said, after authorities failed to alert the public for more than six...More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 7:52 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:52:23 GMT
The family of an Indiana teenager who crashed in the Pacific Ocean during an around-the-world flight says he knew the risks and had prepared for them.More >>
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By CHRIS LEHOURITES AP Sports Writer
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - United they stand, right at the top of the football world.
And right on South American soil.
Germany won its fourth World Cup title on Sunday, but its first since a country torn apart by political divisions at the end of World War II was finally glued back together.
"It was always my dream to get on the summit and look down," said Miroslav Klose, a Polish-born Germany striker who is a perfect example of the country's unification and its diversity. "Incredible."
The Germany victory at the iconic Maracana Stadium was special for another reason, too. The Germans became the first European team to win a World Cup in the Americas, coming after they humiliated host Brazil 7-1 in the semifinals and then got the best of Argentina and Lionel Messi 1-0 in the final.
Along the way, Klose set the record for World Cup goals, scoring his 16th in the rout over Brazil to push himself ahead of Brazil striker Ronaldo.
Klose didn't score on Sunday at the Maracana, however. Instead, it was the man who replaced him in the 88th minute, Mario Goetze, that did.
Goetze's moment of brilliance, chesting the ball to control it and then volleying past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero deep in extra time, was just another sample of the teamwork that has lifted this tightly knit Germany setup to the top.
"The team did it beautifully," said Manuel Neuer, voted the best goalkeeper of the tournament. "At some point we'll stop celebrating, but we'll still wake up with a smile."
After winning the World Cup title in 1954, West Germany turned itself into a powerhouse on the field. The west side of the divided nation later won the 1972 European Championship and then the 1974 World Cup, playing as the host.
Another European title came in 1980, followed a loss to Italy in the 1982 World Cup final. The West Germans again reached the final in 1986, but lost to an Argentina team led by Diego Maradona in Mexico. They got their revenge four years later, beating the Argentines in 1990 to win the World Cup for a third time.
Their lone major title as a united country came at Euro 96, when they beat the Czech Republic in the final at another of football's grandest venues, Wembley Stadium. But they have come very close many times since, losing to Brazil in the 2002 final and reaching the semifinals in both 2006 and 2010.
Argentina has now come up short against Germany in three straight World Cups. The Argentines also lost to the Germans in the quarterfinals at the last two tournaments.
"This was our chance, and we felt that way," said Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano, perhaps the team's most important player behind Messi. "We couldn't do it. We have to lift our head and suffer the pain."
For Brazilian fans, still hurting after the drubbing by Germany and still sad about the broken back that ruled Neymar out of the final games of the World Cup, Sunday's result comes with a sigh of relief.
The five-time champions have now hosted the World Cup twice, and come up short both times. In 1950, Brazil lost to Uruguay in the final match, forever known around here as the Maracanazo. This year, after getting trounced by Germany, many Brazilians believed a win for Argentina, Brazil's biggest rival, would have hurt almost as much.
Germany, by way of Goetze's goal in the 113th minute, took care of that problem.
"You just shoot that goal in, you don't really know what's happening," Goetze said. "And then at the end of the match, having a party with the team, the whole country ... it is for us, a dream come true."
This time, it's for all Germans.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thursday, July 24 2014 10:33 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:33:39 GMT
Iraqi officials say militants have attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad, killing 52 prisoners and eight soldiers.More >>
Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician as the nation's new president on Thursday, hours after an attack on a prison convoy killed dozens of people, brutally underscoring the challenges faced by the...More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 10:32 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:32:58 GMT
A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to recant her Christian faith has arrived in Italy along with her family, including an infant born in prison.More >>
Pope Francis met privately Thursday with a Sudanese woman who refused to recant her Christian faith in the face of a death sentence, blessing the woman as she cradled her infant born just weeks ago in prison.More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 10:32 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:32:37 GMT
Europe's top human rights court has ruled that Poland violated the European Convention on Human Rights by allowing the CIA to imprison two alleged terrorists on Polish soil.More >>
Europe's top human rights court ruled Thursday that Poland violated the rights of two terror suspects by allowing the CIA to secretly imprison them on Polish soil from 2002-2003 and facilitating the conditions under...More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 10:15 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:15:55 GMT
Israeli tanks and warplanes are pummeling the Gaza Strip as U.S. and other diplomats push for a cease-fire with Hamas militants.More >>
Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside.More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:10:48 GMT
The official Algerian news agency says an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from the radar.More >>
An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali after heavy rains were reported, according to the plane's owner and...More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:31:15 GMT
Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.More >>
Police are searching for four or five people they believe scaled to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge's two towers in the dead of night, disabled lights illuminating two large American flags and then replaced the flags...More >>