Mascherano and Messi had a great tournament, but eventually missed out on the trophy. PHOTO: fifa.com

Brazil 2014 has ended with Sunday’s gripping final between Germany and Argentina. Here we look back at the last four weeks from an FC Barcelona point of view, and a tournament that was a success for some of their national teams, and a disappointment for others.

Argentina reach final
With many pundits singling Messi and Mascherano out as their finest players, Argentina made it into the final for the first time in 24 years. Like at Italia 90, it was Germany who eventually put an end to their dream, winning the trophy with a Götze goal in the 113th minute.

MVP Messi
Leo Messi won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament, the second Barça player to collect the award after Romario in 1994. He captained Argentina into the final, scoring four goals along the way and being named man of the match in four games.

Magnificent Mascherano
Playing just in front of the defence, Mascherano had an outstanding tournament. He came third in the tournament ranking for completed passes (85.6) and won an average of 7 balls a game. He was the team’s natural leader, and his amazing last minute tackle on Robben saved the day for Argentina in the semi-final against Holland.

Neymar injured
The World Cup ended early for Neymar when he fractured a vertebra towards the end of the quarter final win over Colombia. He was a major loss not just for Brazil, but for the tournament in general, which was missing one of its most iconic faces in the decisive matches..

Brazil in tears
Without Neymar and with Alves on the bench, the semi-finals saw Brazil suffer one of the most shocking defeats in world sporting history. Germany waltzed to a 7-1 win, condemning Brazil to the third-place playoff, which they also lost, 3-0 to Holland.

Three in and two out
Barça started the tournament with 13 representatives and ended it with 14. Over the last month, the club has acquired Rakitic, Bravo and Luis Suárez and said farewell to Cesc Fàbregas and Alexis Sánchez.

12 Barça goals
Of the 173 goals at the World Cup, 12 were scored by Barcelona players. Neymar and Messi got four each and Suárez and Alexis claimed two.

Spain’s early exit
One of the biggest surprises of the competition was defending champion Spain’s failure to get out of the group stages. Things got off to a horrendous start with 5-1 defeat to Holland, and the 2-0 loss to Chile that followed meant that they were already eliminated before their final match with Australia.

Luis Suárez suspended
One of the other memories that stay with us from Brazil 2014 was Luis Suárez’s suspension following Uruguay’s game against Italy. It meant that the two-goal hero of the win against England would be missing for the second round game with Colombia, which saw Uruguay eliminated.

Bravo, Bravo!
The tournament saw some incredible goalkeeping displays, and some of the best came from Chile stopper Claudio Bravo. The new Barça keeper played a central role in getting Chile out of a difficult first round group, and into a second round penalty shootout against hosts Brazil

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