In Depth

World Cup jokes, tweets and memes: a tournament in review

Lively on the pitch and funny off it: here's our selection of the best World Cup jokes

Last night's World Cup final between Germany and Argentina had tension aplenty, but too few goals or talking points to generate the frenzy of social media activity that greeted the final whistle when Brazil lost 7-1 to a rampant Germany in last week's semi-final.

In total, the final racked up 32.1 million tweets – a good three million shy of the number generated by Brazil vs Germany, which has gone down as the most tweeted about sporting fixture in history.

But as the dust begins to settle over one of the most exciting World Cup tournaments in living memory, we take a look back through the best tweets, jokes, memes and videos that have enlivened the tournament.

Lord help us all

While Pope Francis said he won't pray for either team, we think this is cute! #WorldCup @Pontifex pic.twitter.com/HT1xRl0SLr

— RI Catholic (@RICatholic) July 10, 2014

Here's why the final was a test of faith.

No Lions

England's World Cup campaign summed up in six seconds. Which coincidentally was how long the campaign lasted.

Things Tim Howard can save

Things Tim Howard can save pic.twitter.com/xmrxwSBX8T

— World Cup Jokes (@WorldCupJokes) July 3, 2014

Team USA enjoyed perhaps their most high-profile tournament of all time, and the star of the show was their 6'3" goalkeeper. Tim Howard's prodigious saves against Belgium led to the Everton keeper becoming an internet meme, as US photoshoppers everywhere celebrated Howard's ability to save anything.

Spurs really hate Gunners

Jan Vertonghen manages to pick out the one Arsenal fan in the crowd with the most expertly directed free kick of the tournament.

Dive, dive, dive!

To dive or not to dive... #robben #worldcup pic.twitter.com/nZrEEdEsAt

— Sargon Kay ♔ (@Luv_ChelseaFC) July 12, 2014

Arjen Robben may have apologised for diving early on in the Netherlands' match with Mexico in the last 16, but it was too little too late for theunforgiving internet memesters, who already had Arjen in armbands, being coached by Tom Daley and plunging into pools the world over.

Luis bit my finger

Like him or loathe him, most agree that the Premier League will be poorer for the absence of Chewy Luis next season. He may have been forgiven by the ever gracious Giorgio Chiellini, but it is unlikely that Luis Suarez's penchant for human flesh will be so easily forgotten online.

Just shake it off

What do you do when someone doesn't shake your hand? This time-honoured manoeuvre, of course.

What a wreck

MDRRRR JPP pic.twitter.com/4rJEFt5P6g

— ∇J'NIQUE TA TL∆ (@_Cyranus) July 13, 2014

Miley Cyrus rides the off-centre rat tail that even the most fanatical Argentine supporters would have to agree is a fashion crime.

The flying Dutchman

Fairytale: Van Persie takes to the skies with Peter Pan, Wendy and friends pic.twitter.com/v5yiOhpNrp

— stefbluedrean (@stefbluedrean) June 14, 2014

Robin van Persie's spectacular headed goal in the Netherlands' opening match became the stuff of meme dreams, spawning a short-lived trend for "Persieing" – the footballing equivalent of planking, in which people face plant in public and take a selfie.

Fall guy

pic.twitter.com/XStm3FjlLJ

— ADIL ✌ عادل (@Barzaboy) July 5, 2014

Argentine manager Alejandro Sabella inspired a meme of his own when he reacted to Gonzalo Higuain’s shot being blocked in the match against Belgium by almost falling over. Proof that unpromising material is no obstacle to the internet's finest minds.

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