Mario Gotze's 113th-minute volley fired Germany to World Cup glory with a 1-0 win over Argentina at the Maracana.
The tournament's outstanding team failed to repeat the fluency and brilliance of their 7-1 semi-final romp against Brazil but Joachim Low's team found one more sumptuous moment during the second half of extra time.
Bayern Munich playmaker Gotze, on as an 88th-minute replacement for World Cup record goalscorer Miroslav Klose, chested down Andre Schurrle's floated left-wing cross at the near post to superbly steer home from six yards.
It was the first time Argentina had found themselves behind in the competition and it came as a bitter pill to swallow after Alejandro Sabella's men had created the better chances in normal time.
Gonzalo Higuain passed up a glorious opportunity midway though the first half and the Argentina striker also had a first-half effort correctly ruled out for offside.
Germany defender Benedikt Howedes then headed against the post on the stroke of the interval, and after the break passions threatened to boil over in what was an understandably feisty encounter.
Lionel Messi fired agonisingly wide shortly after the restart, while Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was lucky not to be punished for clattering a knee into Higuain's face as the striker ran through on goal.
Neuer's opposite number, Sergio Romero, denied Schurrle inside the first minute of extra time, while fellow substitute Rodrigo Palacio fluffed his lines at the other end before Gotze sealed Germany's fourth World Cup triumph.
The newly crowned champions were forced into an 11th-hour change after influential midfielder Sami Khedira suffered the heartbreak of sustaining a calf strain during the warm-up.
Borussia Monchengladbach's Christoph Kramer came in for the Real Madrid man, despite having only played 12 minutes during the tournament and being absent from Low's provisional 30-man squad before replacing Andre Hahn.
Toni Kroos drilled an early free-kick into the defensive wall, prompting an Argentina break on which Ezequiel Lavezzi shot across the face of goal.
Veteran Germany striker Klose was then muscled away from Philipp Lahm's inviting 13th-minute cross by Martin Demichelis as Low's men settled into an ominous rhythm, although Ezequiel Garay's shuddering shoulder charge into Kramer's face that ultimately cut short the 23-year-old's fairytale appearance showed Argentina were not ready to be dictated to.
The South Americans should have taken the lead in the 21st minute, Higuain pulling his shot wastefully wide after Kroos' ill-judged header back sold Germany's defence horribly short.
Nine minutes later, the Napoli man thought he had atoned, sweeping home Lavezzi's low cross, only to see his wild and lengthy celebrations denied by an offside flag.
Schurrle, on for the stricken Kramer, drew a sharp save from Romero, while Messi forced Jerome Boateng to hack his cross-shot out of the goalmouth after racing down the right.
Howedes - somewhat fortunate to have only been booked for a reckless lunge on Pablo Zabaleta earlier in the half - then thudded Kroos' stoppage-time corner against the post to conclude an eventful opening period.
Messi's big moment looked to have arrived two minutes into the second half but the Barcelona superstar shot past the far post on the end of Lucas Biglia's measured throughball, with Neuer beaten.
An Argentina attack bolstered by Sergio Aguero's half-time introduction for Lavezzi continued to give Germany's high defensive line some nervy moments, and Neuer - in full-on 'sweeper keeper' mode - was on the wrong side of robust in clattering through Higuain in the 57th minute as he sought to get on the end of Zabaleta's raking ball.
Referee Nicola Rizzoli awarded a German free-kick amid Argentine bemusement.
Bookings in quick succession for Javier Mascherano and Aguero hinted at bubbling frustration as the game entered its final quarter and Germany ended the 90 minutes back on the front foot, as Kroos drilled the ball past the post from 18 yards.
Schurrle almost provided an explosive start to extra time as Romero stood firm and the Argentina counter-attack was looking increasingly potent when Aguero dragged a shot off target.
In the 97th-minute, Palacio evaded the attentions of Germany's defence but his touch over Neuer was far too heavy.
And it was an error that Argentina would deeply regret, as Gotze found a brilliant finish with seven minutes left that was a fitting way to win the showpiece as a European nation secured a first World Cup win on South American soil.
|Coach: J. Löw|
for C. Kramer 32'
for M. Klose 88'
for M. Özil 120'
|Glory coach Lowe accepts ban|
|Scolari extends contract with Guangzhou Evergrande|
|Guardiola eliminated City doubts - De Bruyne|
|Klopp lauds Ings for ´perfect´ response|
|Wenger: Perez needs to take chance|
|Boys to men: Mourinho challenges United players|
|Kompany committed to bargain with City medics|
|´Insipid´ Hazard overlooked for Ballon d´Or|
|Griezmann named best in LaLiga as big three share awards|
|Hargreaves puzzled by Mkhitaryan omission|
|Ballon d´Or breakdown: LaLiga, Premier League dominant amid French renaissance|
|Struggling Inter hit with Medel ban|
|Messi, Ronaldo and the full 30-man Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Suarez, Vardy complete Ballon d´Or nominations|
|Neymar joins fellow heavyweights on Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Neymar joins fellow heavyweights on Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Messi, Modric nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|Liverpool strong out of Europe, says Pochettino|
|Giroud to make Arsenal return - Wenger|
|Giggs hits out at ´laughing´ United players following Chelsea battering|
|Schmidt given two-match ban after Nagelsmann slur|
|Wenger: 82 points could win the Premier League|
|´Chelsea won´t sell to Barca or Bayern´ - Gladbach optimistic over Christensen|
|Wenger contract not a priority for Arsenal|
|Wenger says sorry for making Arsenal fans suffer|
|Sissoko charged by FA for Arter elbow|
|Liverpool not even close to 100 per cent - Klopp|
|Messi, Neymar and Suarez given three-day break by Barcelona|
|´Arsenal can compete on wages´ - Gazidis quizzed on Ozil and Sanchez|
|Ibrahimovic and Lewandowski nominated for Ballon d´Or|
|What You Might Have Missed: Benfica record, a Plea from Balo and Reto Ziegler´s better than Ronaldo|
|Montella warns AC Milan stars: Don´t let first-place prize trap you|
|Zorc ´tired of b*******´ on Tuchel, Aubameyang|
|West Ham defenders must outsmart Costa, says Ogbonna|
|We did not offer ¥1billion for Nagatomo, insist Jiangsu|
|De Bruyne, Griezmann join Ballon d´Or shortlist|
|Ronaldo isn´t anxious, insists Marcelo|
|Renato Sanches wins Golden Boy award for 2016|
|´I don´t know if I will be here on Wednesday´ – De Boer unsure on future amid sack speculation|
|Ronaldo, Bale among first nominees for Ballon d´Or|
|Wenger: Arsenal showed progress with Middlesbrough draw|
|Thiago Silva wants to extend PSG stay|
|Inaki Williams dismisses Liverpool rumours|
|Coutinho does ´amazing things´ - Matip|
|Wilshere happy to be out of Arsenal comfort zone at Bournemouth|
|Lloris is Premier League´s best goalkeeper - Dier|
|Revolution striker Kamara given yellow card for twerking|
|Klopp rubbishes ´defensive problem´ claims|
|Madrid tracking Dortmund boss Tuchel, claims Watzke|
|MLS Review: Dallas win Supporters´ Shield, Sporting KC sneak into play-offs|
|Ronaldo has ´addiction for goals´ - Morata|
|Emery refuses to point the finger at Di Maria after Marseille draw|
|Zidane vows to play Morata more often|
|Garcia hails Marseille team spirit after PSG draw|
|Neville urges calm at United after Mourinho´s horror Chelsea reunion|
|Zamalek 1 Mamelodi Sundowns 0 (1-3 agg): South Africans clinch first CAF Champions League title|
|Paris Saint-Germain 0 Marseille 0: Champions thwarted in Garcia´s first game|
|Real Madrid 2 Athletic Bilbao 1: Morata to the rescue|
|Bailly sustains knee ligament injury|
|Simeone frustrated by Atletico´s finishing|
|Conte encouraged crowd as Chelsea deserved it|
|Chelsea thrashing painful for Mata and United|
|Chelsea ´dominant from first minute to last´ - Cahill|
|Mourinho blames ´incredible defensive mistakes´ for United loss|
|N´Zonzi cools talk of title challenge|
|Chelsea 4 Manchester United 0: Rampant Blues humble returning Mourinho|
|De Boer: Inter ´played with fear´ in first half|
|Juventus confirm Dybala thigh injury|
|Guardiola vows to fix Manchester City concerns|
|Sevilla 1 Atletico Madrid 0: N´Zonzi strikes to end Simeone´s unbeaten start|
|Bayern set to open Robben, Ribery renewal talks|
|Puel satisfied with City draw|
|Rangers 0 Celtic 1: Late Dembele strike settles Old Firm semi-final|
|Croatian player teased for being ´too smart for football´|
|Redmond expected City to give up chances|
|Feyenoord 1 Ajax 1: Kuyt cancels out Dolberg opener|
|Atalanta 2 Inter 1: Late penalty heaps pressure on De Boer|
|Voller defends Schmidt over touchline dismissal|
|Injured Rooney left out of United squad for Chelsea trip|
|Manchester City 1 Southampton 1: Guardiola´s men back on top but winless run continues|
|Guangzhou Evergrande clinch record sixth straight Super League title|
|´Icon´ Rooney not finished at United - Pereira|
|Zubizarreta-Garcia meeting confirmed by Marseille president|
|Aspas-inspired Celta thrash Deportivo in Galician derby|
|Lorient dismiss coach Ripoll|
|Ronaldo´s impact on football is myth-like - Perez|
|United not distracted by Mourinho´s Chelsea return - Young|
|A-League Review: 20,000th goal helps Newcastle Jets to shock comeback|
|Cech laments Arsenal´s lack of composure|
|Qatar World Cup worker dies at stadium site|
|Galliani wanted Montella at Milan in 2014|
|Mourinho hopes never to return to Chelsea|
|Barzagli angry with AC Milan defeat|
|Iniesta admits ´it could have been worse´ after Barcelona confirm 6-8 week absence|
|Mourinho: I´ll never sell Rooney|
|Ancelotti admits to bowing to Ronaldo demands|
|Ancelotti doubts Conte´s Chelsea can win Premier League|
|Romagnoli happy at Milan amid Chelsea links|
|City must not change their style - Gundogan|
|Conte wants to emulate Mourinho|
|Montella: Rising Milan must handle new expectations|
|Rummenigge dispels Alaba-Manchester City reports|
|Success the key to building connection with fans - Mourinho|
|Gundogan hails ´amazing´ duo Guardiola and Klopp|
|AC Milan players influenced ref for disallowed goal, fumes Allegri|
|Allardyce incident a tragedy, says FA chief executive Glenn|
|Locatelli can´t comprehend beating Buffon|