Our final look back: nzherald's best of the World Cup

If you're feeling a bit glum it's all over, relive the best opinion, photos and video from the World Cup with nzherald.co.nz's definitive recap.

The All Whites' World Cup fairytale began with a historic draw against Slovakia in their first game. For a pub full of Kiwis in London it was the highlight of the World Cup.

Away from the glitz and glamour of the tournament, Herald writer Chris Rattue gave us a blunt description of what Johannesburg is really like - a "dangerous dump".

Blogger Stuart Dye was also on the ground in South Africa, revealing details of the World Cup's first great conspiracy theory. Wayne Rooney, Fabio Cannavaro and Cristiano Ronaldo were all starring in Nike's 'Write the Future ads' - and they were all performing like turkeys. Coincidence?

For those looking for some light relief from the endless analysis of the low-scoring games, nzherald.co.nz undertook hours of painstaking research and after fierce debate, compiled the definitive gallery of the World Cup's hottest players for your viewing pleasure.

After some soaring highs and crushing lows, we felt it necessary to gather a selection of the World Cup's heroes (yay!) and villains (boo).

But really, the World Cup is about the fans - and this year's World Cup certainly brought out the best of them. Here are our picks for the best fan costumes in South Africa.

It all had to an end some time, and that it did with a victory for Spain, who beat the Netherlands with an Andres Iniesta goal in extra time to take out their first ever World Cup title. If you missed the goal, or you want to watch it again, here it is.

So did you really dedicate yourself to this World Cup? If so, our World Cup quiz should be a breeze.

To refresh your memory of the biggest moments, check out our selection of the 10 photos that defined the World Cup.

And finally, if there's one personality this World Cup will be remembered for, it may well be a psychic cephalopod named Paul. After correctly picking eight out of eight World Cup results, Paul the oracle octopus decided to retire, opting for the quiet life of a German aquarium over the fame and pressure of being a football oracle.

- NZ Herald staff

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