One of the greatest World Cup's in recent memory has finally come to a close with the French victorious for the second time. A tournament bereft of normalcy, football fans around the world were treated to variety of surprises along the way.
For the first time since 1938, Germany were unceremoniously dumped out the tournament in the group stages. Defeats to both Mexico and South Korea were both huge upsets against a side that were tipped by many to go on to win the whole thing. Spain, just 6 years removed from being one of the most dominant sides in international football history, were eliminated by hosts Russia - the lowest ranked team going into the finals.
And that's what makes the World Cup so special. It is one of the disappointingly few competitions left in the sport that cannot be completely swayed by money. Take for instance Iceland; while a huge investment was made to improve football in the country at a grassroots level, they still only have a population size comparable to Coventry to pick their players from, and they managed to earn a draw against Argentina, a team sporting arguably the world's best player.
The competition provides drama on an unprecedented scale, and nothing is more dramatic when the minnows in a David Vs. Goliath encounter prevails and shocks the world. These are some of the teams that did just that and proved that anything can happen in the beautiful game.