The 2014 World Cup provided a number of high-profile records for the biggest competition in world football, but perhaps the most significant of these is that Germany became the first European club to win the tournament in South America.
All kind of reasons could have been behind it in the past, such as travelling distance, or acclimatisation, but modern technology in football has meant these things now can no longer be taken seriously as excuses. The German FA's incredible base went to great lengths to make the players comfortable and have all the necessary necessary facilities to keep them on top of their game.
Mario Götze's delightful injury time strike secured the nation's fourth World Cup win and was a fitting way to see the most organised, best prepared and most deserving team at the tournament become champions. While their 7-1 annihilation of hosts Brazil in the semi-finals sent shockwaves through the country, prompting all kinds of questions regarding the game's future in its spiritual home.
European nations do have the most funding, but the organisation of the development of talent within the likes of Spain and Germany put much of South America to shame. Brazil have always had an embarrassment of riches in terms of talent, but the 2014 version looked woefully short of it outside of Neymar and captain Thiago Silva.
Although Lionel Messi managed to drag Argentina into the final and the way they were so terrifically organised under Alejandro Sabella kept them solid, there will be few people that would argue that South American football is in a better state than European football.
This got GMS thinking and we decided to draw up a best XI from European football and South American football to weight them up against one another in each position to see which continent comes out on top. We went with the 4-2-3-1 formation that, or at least variations of it, seems to be en vogue at the moment.
Want to find out which side was victorious in the battle of Europe XI vs South America XI? Click the 'begin slideshow' button to find out...
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