Gossip column: Schweinsteiger, Merkel, Robben, Drogba, Rihanna

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Angela Merkel, Germany's Chancellor, has been credited as her country's World Cup lucky charm, with fans tweeting: "Our twelfth man is a woman."Daily Telegraphexternal-link

Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, 29, had "The Chosen One" printed on his boots for the final. Daily Mailexternal-link

Schweinsteiger has paid tribute to Uli Hoeness, the former president of Bayern Munich who is currently serving a prison sentence for tax evasion. Die Weltexternal-link

The "VVIP guest list" for the World Cup final included film stars Daniel Craig and Ashton Kutcher, Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Gabon counterpart Ali Bongo, basketball star LeBron James - and former Leeds midfielder Olivier Dacourt.Guardianexternal-link

Joachim Low says Bayern Munich's Mario Goetze, 22, proved he is better than Lionel Messi after coming off the bench to score Germany's extra-time winner against Argentina.ESPNexternal-link

Spanish paper Marca hails Germany's success

Golden glove winner Manuel Neuer, 28, says he has fallen in love with the "warm-hearted" people of Brazil during Germany's World Cup winning stay in the country. Fifaexternal-link

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto, a World Cup winner with Brazil in 2002, says his country's footballing problems "run deep". Daily Starexternal-link

German magazine Kicker greeted the nation's World Cup success with a simple headline: "We are world champions". Kickerexternal-link

Spanish paper Marca summed the World Cup up with a front page announcing: "Always Germany".Marcaexternal-link

Argentine newspaper La Nacion describes the defeat as "a blow that goes straight to the heart … Messi was without doubt the man who cared". La Nacion external-link

But in France, Le Figaro led with the headline: "Messi misses his rendezvous with history", adding that the 27-year-old "failed to carry Argentina on top of the world".Le Figaroexternal-link

Brazilian newspaper O Globo says the World Cup saw the "most leaked defence", as 171 goals were scored during the tournament, equalling the record at the 1998 World Cup.O Globoexternal-link


Salomon Kalou
Could Salomon Kalou, in action for Ivory Coast in the World Cup, be on his way back to England?

Former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou, 28, now at Lille, is being chased by Liverpool and Everton. Daily Starexternal-link

Newcastle are hopeful of signing £6m Feyenoord full back Daryl Janmaat which would trigger the transfer of Mathieu Debuchy to Arsenal. Sky Sportsexternal-link

Liverpool's hopes of landing playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri, 22, appear to be dead after Bayern Munich dismissed the prospect of selling the Switzerland ace this summer. Talksportexternal-link

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hoping to complete the £3m signing of Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, 25, from Nice. Daily Mirrorexternal-link

Chelsea have opened discussions about bringing Didier Drogba, 36, back to Stamford Bridge as a second choice striker and coach. Daily Mailexternal-link

Netherlands and Bayern Munich forward Arjen Robben, 30, has turned down an offer from Dutch boss Louis van Gaal to follow him to Manchester United this summer.Daily Telegraphexternal-link

Tottenham's summer transfer plans are on hold as midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, 24, and defender Michael Dawson, 30, are reluctant to leave. Daily Mirrorexternal-link

The agent of Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen, 27, admits the Belgian could leave White Hart Lane this summer.Evening Standardexternal-link

Liverpool have reignited their interest in £18m Sevilla left back Alberto Moreno.Daily Expressexternal-link


Russia's president Vladimir Putin has vowed "an unforgettable football feast" when his country hosts the 2018 World Cup. Gulf Newsexternal-link

Germany will be awarded $35m (£20.5m) in prize money for winning the 2014 World Cup, while each player will get a $408,000 (£239,000) bonus from their national football federation for lifting the trophy. ESPNexternal-link

Meanwhile Germany were apparently so confident of winning that the country's finance ministry pre-printed a run of five million stamps commemorating victory before the final. Wall Street Journalexternal-link

James Rodriguez
Monaco's World Cup star James Rodriguez has issued a come and get me plea to Real Madrid

Monaco's 23-year-old Colombian forward James Rodriguez has reiterated his desire to play for Real Madrid, saying it is up to the club president Florentino Perez to make a decision. Marca (in Spanish)external-link

Porto have finalised the transfer of Adrian Lopez, 26, from Atletico Madrid.L'Equipe (in French)external-link

Bayern Munich have denied signing a transfer deal with Levante for 27-year-old Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas.Bild (in German)external-link


Striker Daniel Sturridge, 24, is over England's World Cup exit and looking forward to helping spearhead Liverpool's Premier League charge next season. Daily Mailexternal-link

Newcastle United's new signing Remy Cabella, 24, says playing in front of big crowds at St James' Park will be something he relishes. FourFourTwoexternal-link

West Brom's new left-back Sebastien Pocognoli, 21, says he was persuaded to sign by former Baggies loanee Romelu Lukaku. Birmingham Mailexternal-link

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu is convinced Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who is set to join Barca for £75m, will have his four-month ban for biting reduced, despite Fifa rejecting the 27-year-old's appeal. Independentexternal-link

Meanwhile, Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta is confident Suarez has learned the lesson of the "sad episode" of his bite on Giorgio Chiellini. Marcaexternal-link

West Ham winger Stewart Downing, 29, believes the imminent £12m signing of Ecuador striker Enner Valencia, 25, will help take the pressure off Andy Carroll. Daily Starexternal-link

Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher has given his World Cup verdict. "It's amazing to be here in Brazil," says Kutcher. "This is the greatest sporting event in the world."Fifaexternal-link


Rihanna with Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger
Rihanna gets a kiss from Germany's Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger

Pop star Rihanna's Twitter postexternal-link "Podolski x RiRi x Shweinsteiger" (sic), accompanied by a picture of herself getting a double kiss from the German players - and has trended worldwide, getting more than 23,000 retweets.

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti sent his congratulations to Germany, but was careful to be fair to the two players he had involved in the final. He tweeted:external-link "Congratulations to Germany. A massive success for Khedira. Commiserations to Di María, you can be proud".

American journalist Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger's ex-wife, posted:external-link "Head of Brazil: a woman. Germany: a woman. Argentina: a woman. The world is a changing."

Film star Hugh Jackman, a regular at Wimbledon recently, showed he's not just interested in tennis, tweeting:external-link "Congratulations to World Cup 2014 champions @DFB_Team_EN!!! Well deserved. HJ."

Xabi Alonso shook off his own World Cup disappointment to send his congratulations external-linkto the winners: "Congratulations to Germany! The best team in the tournament won. Well done Sami and @MesutOzil1088 , enjoy it!!"

Germany and Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, 29, took to Facebookexternal-link to post a snap of him on the pitch grasping the World Cup and looking pretty pleased with life.

Reid Wilson
The Expedition 40 crew watch the World Cup final

Astronaut Reid Wilson tweeted a pictureexternal-link of the Expedition 40 crew watching the World Cup final in space.

Belgium captain Vincent Kompany expressed sympathy for Manchester City team-mates Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis and Sergio Aguero after Argentina's World Cup final defeat. He tweeted:external-link "@pablo_zabaleta @demichelisok & @aguerosergiokun football is hard sometimes. You made everyone proud & had a great tournament. Heads up."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter posted:external-link "What an intense Final from both teams. Congrats #GER: 4th title & 1st European team to win #WorldCup in Americas."

Joey Barton has a theory for Germany's success, tweeting:external-link "So the best prepared team win the World Cup. Only team to build their own training base. Coincidence? I think not..."

Liverpool frontman Daniel Sturridge went on Twitterexternal-link after Germany's victory to say: "Not even gonna lie I'm jealous it's not me. Fuel for the fire I guess... One day I hope to help England win something. That's the dream..."


Oliver Bierhoff interviewed by Gerhard Delling
Oliver Bierhoff wasn't keen on reporter Gerhard Delling's tie

Former Germany international Oliver Bierhoff was distracted during a pre-World Cup final interview by the "hideous" tie being worn by presenter Gerhard Delling. Die Weltexternal-link

Germany's exciting football means the nation's lifestyle will have to change after their World Cup success, with a Frankfurt newspaper suggesting: "It is impudent to grab a beer from the fridge during a match as the Germans could have scored three goals in that time." Frankfurter Allgemeineexternal-link

A number of YouTube users have been duped by a spoof video that appears to show a North Korean news broadcast announcing that the national football team had made it to the World Cup final. Independentexternal-link

An Irish football fan is returning from the World Cup with the matchball from the semi-final between Germany and Brazil, after catching a wayward shot from the Brazilian player, Bernard, and showing nifty skills to smuggle the ball past stewards and out of the stadium. Irish Examinerexternal-link

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