While Brazilians fans rejoiced, there were riots in Argentina as Germany won the World Cup, becoming the first European nation to ever win the tournament in South America. In the end, Germany’s 1-0 overtime win against hated rival Argentina was consolation for the Brazilian people, who could hardly fathom the image of President Dilma Rousseff handing the World Cup trophy to Argentina captain Lionel Messi after all they had endured with the national team.
"Germany has brought great happiness to the Brazilian people," Reuters quoted Pedro Cozzolimo, 27, a lawyer from Rio de Janeiro, as saying immediately after the final. "Thank you Germany," he shouted.
Meanwhile, in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s failure prompted scores of angry youths to vandalize the capital, hurling rocks, destroying storefronts and breaking into buildings. Police said 20 officers were injured and at least 60 people were arrested during the riots.
The Washington Post’s Terrence McCoy wonders whether their angry response was a referendum on the state of Argentina’s economy. As McCoy notes, the Argentine peso has already declined 20 percent this year, prompting fears of another meltdown. “It is impossible to separate politics from soccer,” McCoy writes. “Few countries needed a big victory like Argentina.”