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The 2014 FIFA World Cup was the 20th FIFA World Cup, the tournament for the association football world championship, which took place at several venues across Brazil.
It began on 12 June, with a group stage, and concluded on 13 July with the final. It was the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition, the first being in 1950. Brazil was elected unchallenged as host nation in 2007 after the international football federation, FIFA, decreed that the tournament would be staged in South America for the first time since 1978 in Argentina, and the fifth time overall.
The national teams of 31 countries advanced through qualification competitions that began in June 2011 to participate with the host nation Brazil in the final tournament. A total of 64 matches were being played in 12 cities across Brazil in either new or redeveloped stadiums. For the first time at a World Cup finals, match officials are using goal-line technology, as well as vanishing foam for free kicks.
All world champion teams since the first World Cup in 1930 – Argentina, Brazil, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Uruguay – qualified for this competition. The title holders, Spain, were eliminated at the group stage, along with previous winners England and Italy. Uruguay were eliminated in the Round of 16 and France were eliminated at the quarter-finals. In the final between two former champions Argentina and Germany, Germany won the title by defeating Argentina 1–0 after extra time, thus becoming the first European team to win a World Cup in the Americas.
Despite the hosts Brazil finishing in the last four, their presence of the tournament was overshadowed by their record-shattering 7-1 loss to eventual champions, Germany, in the semi-finals.