World Cup 2014: The best bits from Brazil

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The most memorable moments from Brazil 2014

A fabulous month of football has finished and the Fifa World Cup is now over for another four years. See Gallery

A fabulous month of football has finished and the Fifa World Cup is now over for another four years. 64 matches, 171 goals, 187 yellow cards, 10 red cards, 13 penalties (not counting shootouts) - and enough memorable moments for many to have dubbed this the best World Cup ever.

Click or swipe on for the best bits.

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Goals, goals, goals

It is perhaps fitting that a World Cup hosted by Brazil will be remembered for its goals. In total there were 171 goals, tied with France '98 for the most in a tournament, at an average of 2.67 per game.

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The underdogs do well

Yes the final was between two of football's old guard, but a Round of 16 featuring teams such as Costa Rica, Greece, Algeria, Switzerland and Chile, is great for the game of football.

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Reputations upheld

Many of the tournament's big names including Messi as well as Neymar, Thomas Müller, Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and James Rodríguez all raised their game for the tournament and showed why they are rated so highly.

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A proper ball

The tournament in South Africa was blighted by a ball that was considered too light, but the Brazuca ball worked great and helped make the football better.

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Attacking football

Some World Cups can be all about defences and defensive tactics, but Brazil saw lots of attacking, which made many matches enjoyable to watch.

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Great goals

There were some spectacular goals: Robin van Persie's header, Tim Cahill's volley and James Rodriguez's sublime strike against Uruguay were just three of the top goals in the tournament.

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Goal celebrations

Memorable celebrations include Joel Campbell's tribute to his unborn son, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's karate kick and, in particular, Colombia's dancing after James Rodríguez's goal against Ivory Coast.

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Great saves

Some goalkeepers did have a thing or two to say about all the attacking that was seen in Brazil. In particular Mexico's Guillermo Ochoa pulled off a spectacular save to deny Brazil's Neymar when the two sides met in the group stages.

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Passionate anthems

Even the national anthems were good this time, with a cappella versions ringing round the stadiums after the music stopped, and some players, like Ivory Coast's Die Serey, being moved to tears.

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Big wins

Big wins and big shocks as Netherlands beat Spain 5-1, Germany beat Portugal 4-0, but the biggest of all came with Germany's 7-1 win over Brazil in the semi-final.

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Vanishing spray

This has been in use in the Brazil and Argentina leagues for several years and will be seen in the Uefa Champions League next season. A simple, effective, and amusing way to keep players in position.

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Goal-line technology

Brazil was the first World Cup to feature goal-line technology - a welcome update to a sport frequently made frustrating by relying on the referee's eyesight. France became the first country to benefit from the technology when Karim Benzema was credited with a goal against Honduras.

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Christ the Redeemer

The authorities in Brazil should be credited for the great way they used illumination to bring some spectacular colour to Rio's iconic landmark.

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Fans

One of the great things about any World Cup is bringing together fans from all over the world. In Brazil fans brought face paint, masks, colour and joy to the tournament.

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Fan zones

Fan zones are now a regular feature of many large sporting events, but there is something special about fans gathering to watch football on one of the world's most iconic beaches.

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No vuvuzelas

What a joy it was to watch a World Cup without the constant whaling of those annoying horns from South Africa in 2010.

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Spectacular weather

One of the problems for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was that it was played in winter. No such worries in Brazil, which featured the first cooling break in World Cup history, as well as a few torrential tropical downpours.

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The US gets involved

Finally it seems that many people in the US are starting to appreciate the joys of football as millions of fans took to supporting their country.

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Tim Howard

Tim Howard put in an impressive performance for the US against Belgium. Although he was beaten twice, Howard made 16 saves in the match - the most in a single World Cup game since 1966.

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Klose's success (and fail)

Miroslav Klose became the highest scorer in World Cup history with his 16th goal. That said, after his 15th, which came against Ghana, the 36-year-old showed he didn't quite have the same spring in his step, with a failed somersault celebration.

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Mexico's coach

Miguel Herrera brought a special style and passion to the World Cup and it was almost as much fun watching him on the sidelines as it was to watch his team play.

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James Rodríguez

The Golden Boot winner may have been a relatively unknown player to many, yet he was subject to a US$61.2m move from Porto to Monaco in 2013. His value has surely increased after his performances in Brazil.

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The Rodríguez insect

When Rodríguez scored his sixth goal of the tournament, against Brazil in their quarter-final clash, he created a social media storm as he celebrated with a giant grasshopper attached to his arm.

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Lionel Messi

With the weight of a nation on his shoulders Messi responded to the pressure with a superb tournament, scoring four goals, leading his team to the final, and winning the Golden Ball Award.

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Social media success

The Huffington Post has labelled the 2014 World Cup Final "the single biggest tweeted event ever" and the tournament has seen more than one billion Facebook interactions.

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And the worst from Brazil - Luis Suarez

The Uruguayan striker was always likely to make headlines, unfortunately it was for all the wrong reasons after his bite on Italy's Giorgio Chiellini.

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Refereeing controversies

Brazil were awarded a questionable penalty in the opening match and in the second Mexico had two goals incorrectly ruled out for offside. New Zealand referee Peter O'Leary also caused a stir when he was apparently seen celebrating with a Nigeria player after the team beat Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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The failures

Spain crashed out and England, Italy and Portugal all failed to deliver. So did all the teams from Asia with Australia, Japan, Iran and South Korea all finishing bottom of their groups.

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David Luiz

Just before the World Cup Luiz became the most expensive defender in history with his move to Paris St Germain. Many pundits have aimed specific criticism at him for Brazil's capitulation against Germany in the semi-final.

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Lasers

Algeria were fined after the use of lasers by their supporters in the final group match against Russia. Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev had a laser shone in his eye just before Algeria scored a crucial equalising goal.