We're not sure if it's just the social media buzz, but it sure feels like the 2014 World Cup has been one for the books. From a player with vampire-like tendencies to teams that can really get their groove on, we've been entertained in unexpected ways over the past month of soccer-y goodness.
In anticipation of this weekend's final, we've compiled a list of our favorite 2014 World Cup moments so far. Let us know your own personal favorites in comments section bellow.
10. An inauspicious beginning Brazil vs. Croatia June 12
This year's host country, Brazil, scored the first goal of the 2014 World Cup -- on themselves. In the opening game against Croatia, Brazilian defender Marcelo Vieira made a goal right at the game's onset. Luckily, the team went on to win the match 3-1, but especially knowing how things eventually turned out in the Cup, we can't help but feel this was an unlucky start.
9. The flying dutchman Netherlands vs. Spain June 13
Not only was Robin van Persie's header against Spain one of the most impressive goals of the World Cup, it also quickly became the most viral. In addition to the abundance of memes depicting this truly beautiful equalizer, there was also a run of limited-edition commemorative coins released. (But don't get your hopes up: They sold out in a matter of hours.)
8. Move over, Shakira Colombia vs. Cote d'Ivoire June 19
Colombia was not the only team to celebrate a goal with a dance, but they were our favorite this year. Besides, we'll take any chance we can get to talk about James Rodriguez. James scored the goal that set off this particular celebration in a game against Cote d'Ivoire, which Colombia went on to win 2-1. As of press time, the young striker is still in the lead to win the coveted Golden Boot, with a total of six goals under his belt.
7. Coach goes Bobby Boucher Mexico vs. Croatia June 23
It's always entertaining to see the variety of reactions (or lack thereof) from coaches, but Mexican coach Miguel Herrera should win a prize for his legendary excitement. When Mexico beat Croatia 3-1, Herrera went apeshit, tackling players and just generally losing it. It was actually a pretty endearing sight to behold.
6. The bite felt around the world Uruguay vs. Italy June 24
Yeah, you knew this was coming. Luis Suarez bit a dude. He got banned for four months. We'd seriously prefer to stop talking about it, but maybe you'd like to read what Mike Tyson had to say about it in a recent Reddit AMA.
5. The Flop Netherlands vs. Mexico June 29
This was easily the most tragic moment in all of World Cup 2014. (Okay, we'll admit to having an ever-so-slight bias for EL Tri.) Mexico held a 1-0 lead until an 88th minute equalizer by the Dutch. Moments later, Arjen Robben dove in the box, and head referee Pedro Proenca awarded the Netherlands a free kick, resulting in the final 2-1 score. Robben offered a meager apology for his actions, but Mexico was still sent home from the tournament.
4. "You shall not pass" Belgium vs. USA July 1
Tim Howard made history for the U.S. in their game against Belgium last week. The goalie made a total of 16 saves, the most by any goal keeper in a World Cup since 1966. Though team USA wasn't able to pull out a win in the end, Tim Howard returned home a hero. Notably, this also resulted in a meme explosion.
3. Man down Brazil vs. Colombia July 4
At 22 years old, Neymar is easily the darling of the Brazilian team (not to mention a damn good forward). So it was all the more heartbreaking when he was kneed in the back by Colombian defender Juan Camilo Zúñiga during the quarterfinals. Speculations abound about whether Neymar's injury was the reason for Brazil's poor performance in the semifinals. Still, the young player is recovering and likely has many more World Cups ahead of him.
2. The dark horse Netherlands vs. Costa Rica July 5
In 2010, Costa Rica didn't even qualify for the World Cup; this year, the Ticos made it to the quarterfinals. This is only the fifth time a CONCACAF team has made to (or past) this stage in the tournament, and it's a first for the Costa Ricans, who have only participated in the World Cup four times total. Though Costa Rica was ultimately defeated by the Netherlands in penalty kicks 4-3, their excellent team created our favorite underdog story from World Cup 2014 by far.
1. How the mighty have fallen Germany vs. Brazil July 8
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
No one really knows what to say about this slaughter of a game, present company included. Going into the semifinals, we were really big Germany supporters, but now we don't really know what soccer is anymore.
Editor's note: this post has been modified from its original version.