The 2014 World Cup was always going to be about Brazil in some way. Even if Brazil didn't win another World Cup in front of its fans, it would be the defining story of the tournament, no matter who actually won it. As such, although Germany ended Brazil's dream with one of the most shocking, lopsided wins in soccer history on July 8, the Germans are the secondary story of their own 7-1 victory.
Given that Neymar was injured and Thiago Silva was suspended -- and that Silva's absence left a gaping hole in Brazil's defense -- it may be tempting to put an asterisk on this result. However, if Germany had only won by one or even two goals, then it could have been argued that it might have been a fluke. A six goal victory that could have easily been more is another matter.
While Brazil had no defense to speak of without Silva, Germany still had a flawless attack and pitch perfect passing, especially in the first 30 minutes. What's more, whereas Brazil had no big names to pick up the slack from Neymar and Silva, Germany's biggest stars got the ball rolling right away.
Thomas Mueller scored his fifth goal of the World Cup to kick things off in the 11th minute. It was his 10th career goal in the tournament, leaving him six shy of the new record held by his own teammate, Miroslav Klose, who broke his tie with Brazil's own Ronaldo by scoring in the 23rd minute.
In the next blink of an eye, the Germans were up by 5-0 thanks to two goals from Toni Kroos and one from Sami Khedira. The Brazilians cruelly had to endure 60 more minutes after that, while the Germans couldn't just start resting up for the final. But they got two more goals from Andre Schuerrle in the second half and fell a few minutes short of capping a shutout.
The Brazilians made the worst kind of World Cup history, overshadowing the Germans' own historic achievement of making their eighth ever final. The last one was in 2002, when they lost to Brazil and let it have its record fifth title.
But now Germany can get a step closer with its fourth title and first in 24 years, even if no one else is ready to focus on that yet.