It will not come as much of a consolation for the heart-broken German fans, but they still can take heart that their country has now moved to the top of the FIFA World Cup rankings.

The semifinal against Spain on Thursday night helped Germany get past Brazil in terms of matches played in football's flagship event. The Germans have now played 98 matches compared to Brazilian tally of 97 and is sure to end up this year's tournament with 99 matches, being pitted against Uruguay in Saturday's third-place playoff.

Unless left shell-shocked in the European qualifiers, Germany is thus also on line to become the first country to complete 100 matches in its opening fixture of the 2014 World Cup to be hosted by Brazil. Italy (80), Argentina (70) and England (59) are next on the list of most World Cup games behind Germany and Brazil, while Spain (55) has now moved above France (54) into outright sixth place.

Sunday's final is also ensured to have a new winner from two uncrowned teams for the first time since 1978 when Argentina crossed swords with the Netherlands for the World Cup.

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