The best pictures from World Cup 2014

IES | AP Photo-Guido Bergmann, Bundesregierung
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Best photos from World Cup 2014

As World Cup 2014 comes to a close, here's a look back at some of the most stunning photography from the tournament. See Gallery

As Germany celebrates its triumph at the final of World Cup 2014, here's a look back at some of the most stunning photography from the tournament. In the picture above, German chancellor Angela Merkel, centre right, and German president Joachim Gauck, centre left, pose with the German squad and the trophy in the changing room after the final on July 13.

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Getty Images: Cem Ozdel, Anadolu Agency
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Bird's eye view

A dove is released prior to the opening match between Brazil and Croatia at Arena de São Paulo on June 12.

AP Photo: Dario Lopez-Mills
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All eyes on Brazil

A fan wears contact lenses featuring the flag of Brazil prior to the start of the Mexico vs Brazil match on June 17.

REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler
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The feeling of scoring

Brazil's Fred celebrates after scoring against Cameroon during the group stage on June 23.

Reuters: Michael Dalder
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In the shadow of Sugarloaf

The England team had one of the more spectacular training grounds, at the Urca military base (bottom), near the famous Sugarloaf mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
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Spain knocked out

Fans react after defending champions Spain were knocked out in the opening round.

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
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Best view

Mats Hummels of Germany scores his team's first goal past Hugo Lloris of France during a quarter-final match on July 4.

Reuters: Pilar Olivares
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Football fever everywhere

A woman looks through clothing at a street market in Rio de Janeiro.

AP Photo/Eraldo Peres
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Outnumbered

Surrounded by Belgium players, Argentina's Lionel Messi lies on the ground on July 5.

Leo Correa/Reuters
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The feeling of losing

A Brazil fan reacts during the host team's devastating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-final.

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach
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Fans of Japan

Japanese fans led the way in crazy costumes.

REUTERS/Tony Gentile
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Controversy

Uruguay's Luis Suarez reacts after clashing with Italy's Giorgio Chiellini on June 24.

REUTERS/Tony Gentile
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Evidence

Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder after being bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez. Suarez was banned by FIFA for four months for the act.

Bruno Kelly/Reuters
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Manaus

An aerial view shows street decorations in host city Manaus.

REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
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Opening ceremony

Performers are thrown into the air during the opening ceremony at the Corinthians arena in São Paulo on June 12.

REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler
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Neymar

Brazil's Neymar dribbles the ball during a game against Cameroon on June 23.

Reuters: Siphiwe Sibeko
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The next Neymar?

A boy holding a football runs along a street near the Arena da Amazonia stadium in Manaus on June 14.

REUTERS/Francois Marit
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From above

Portugal's Hugo Almeida fights for the ball with Germany's Mats Hummels on June 16.

Reuters: Tony Gentile
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In plane sight

A view from a plane landing in Rio on June 20.

REUTERS/Marko Djurica
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Speed

Argentina's Angel Di Maria and Nigeria's Ogenyi Onazi (left) chase the ball on June 25.

REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler
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Thanking the fans

Robin van Persie of the Netherlands points to the crowd after winning their third-place playoff against Brazil at the Brasilia national stadium on July 12.

Reuters: Pilar Olivares
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Cool head

A Brazilian soccer fan wearing a watermelon helmet reacts as he watches Brazil play on the big screen at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on June 23.

Reuters: Leonhard Foeger
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Stunning loss

A dejected Brazil fan wearing a mask depicting Neymar sits in the stands at the end of the of the semi-final against Germany on July 8.

Ryan Pierse - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
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After the win

Mathieu Valbuena of France celebrates the win in the tunnel after the round of 16 match between France and Nigeria on June 30.

Frank Augstein/AP Photo
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Klose celebration

The veteran German striker doesn’t let gravity – or age – deter him from delivering his trademark front flip celebration after scoring against Ghana.

REUTERS/Mike Blake
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Falling with style

Arjen Robben of the Netherlands falling over became a common sight, as here against Mexico on June 29.

USA TODAY Sports: Winslow Townson
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Game sphere

Estadio das Dunas in Natal, pictured through a fish-eye lense.

Mast Ihram/EPA
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Scary selfie

A fan takes a selfie with a man wearing a costume prior to Switzerland vs. Honduras in Manaus.

AP Photo: Christophe Ena
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On the ball

Men watch soccer fans across the street from Maracana Stadium before the start of the World Cup match between Spain and Chile in Rio de Janeiro on June 18.

AFP PHOTO/TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA
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Japan fan

Their team's lack of success didn't dampen the spirits of Japan's fans.

VI Images via Getty Images
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Trying to get ahead

Ezequiel Lavezzi of Argentina balances the ball during the World Cup final at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Reuters
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Fans kiss during a game

Fans kiss during the France v Nigeria match in Brasilia on July 30.

Reuters: Yves Herman
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Kicking on the beach

A man kicks a ball on the beach in Fortaleza on July 2.

Shaun Botterill - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
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High kicks

Islam Slimani of Algeria and Denis Glushakov of Russia compete for the ball on June 26.

USA TODAY Sports: Mark J. Rebilas
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The world watches

Members of the media look on from the press area during the opening game.

REUTERS/Yves Herman
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Playing rough

Belgium's Marouane Fellaini kicks the ball near Jermaine Jones of the US during their round of 16 game on July 1.

Reuters: Toru Hanai
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Fans with a conscience

Japanese fans clean up the stadium after their match against Greece at the Dunas arena in Natal on June 19.

AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
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Close call

Colombia's Victor Ibarbo clears the ball next to Brazilian player Maicon's head on July 4.

AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko
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Ensnared

Brazil's Fernandinho reacts after Germany's Toni Kroos scored his side's third goal during the semi-final on July 8.

Reuters: Alessandro Garofalo
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Hand of God

A worker descends from the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro on June 23.

Mike Egerton/PA Wire/ABACAPRESS.COM
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World Cup ball

A fan dressed up as the World Cup ball.

Francois Xavier Marit - Pool/Getty Images
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Goal

Joe Hart of England lands in the net after letting in Italy's second goal on June 14.

Ryan Pierse - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
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Preparing for action

Lionel Messi and Argentina players walk through the tunnel before their game with Iran on June 21.

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
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Disappointment

Argentina's Lionel Messi looks crestfallen as he goes to collect his runners-up medal after the final on 13 July.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
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Celebration

Brazil's Neymar celebrates a win over Cameroon with his team on June 23.

REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
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Tears

A Brazil fan weeps after her team's defeat by Germany in the semi-finals.

AP Photo/Andre Penner
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Winger

A Mexico fan cheers on his side.

Reuters: Damir Sagolj
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Future stars

Young players of Planaltina football club practise in Planaltina on July 3.

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
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The goal that won the tournament

Götze celebrates with teammate Thomas Müller after scoring a goal during extra time.

REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
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Heartbroken

A disconsolate Argentinian fan reacts to his team's defeat at a public screening in Buenos Aires, Argentina.