The dust has begun to settle, the teams have returned home (or more likely to somewhere else for a well deserved break ahead of their respective domestic seasons starting up again) and the Germans have taken their victory bows before an adoring public. Many observers are already saying that they believe this to be the best ever World Cup, but just what does it take to be deserve such a prestigious title? Many factors would seem to be worthy of consideration in the assessment of any great sporting spectacle's place in history, so let's consider some of these and how this latest World Cup stands up to the scrutiny.

1. Longevity of staying in the memory? Bit early to assess this although the early signs would be good. Generally an entire tournament does not stay in the memory but key times and events would do. Of recent times, the London Olympics of 2012 will commonly be remembered for the so called "Super Saturday" when Team GB won 3 gold medals in one evening in the athletics. Will people in years to come try hard to fathom how the hosts Brazil could be 5 goals behind to Germany in the semi final by half time or the speed with which the Dutch broke on the previously all conquering Spanish team as they demolished them with ease. 

2. Great games and lots of goals ? A truly spectacular World Cup on both of these counts.

Many games would be worthy of a pause and re-wind of the tournament DVD, although particular mention should go to the Dutch's narrow win over the Aussies 3-2 and the ebb and flow witnessed during the sparkling 2-2 draw that was Germany against Ghana. The total goals of 171 matched the highest ever at a World Cup, with the group stages seeing a plethora of them as teams failed to be unduly affected by the heat as had previously been feared.

3. A great opening game and a memorable final? It's always good to get the tournament off to a good start with a few goals to boot, and then bring the event to a close with a dramatic finish. We had both at this World Cup with the hosts being pleased with a solid start (even if they did score an own goal first!) and Germany's late winner being scored deep into Extra Time .

4. Goals that have the 'wow' factor ? The commentary for the wonder goal scored by Tim Cahill, that has been likened to Van Basten's for the Dutch that has been replayed so many times since, suggested that it would take some beating in this World Cup. That it should indeed seem to have been outclassed by one of the new kids on the block for Columbia, James Rodriguez, and his sublime strike against the Uruguayans is testament to how good that goal was. In slow motion he seemed to display that knack of great players to create that extra bit of space and time, looking where he wanted to place the ball in the net before chest controlling the pass and then volleying in off the underside of the crossbar.

5. Shocks and surprises? Spain were expected to do well if not retain their title prior to the tournament starting. It soon became clear that they would struggle to get out of their group after the mauling by the Dutch in the first game, but to be out of the tournament after only two games was hard to fathom. Maybe a changing of the guard as their more elderly players perhaps saw their last tournament action or maybe just a need to reappraise their technique and freshen things up after a long spell of championship success? Brazil mad the semis, yet having been tipped to win on their home patch it was a sad sight to see their capitulation to the eventual winners. Interesting too to hear the Germans admit post match that they had consciously not sought to unduly embarrass Brazil in the second half of that match...scan consolation when the damage had already been done but leaving the onlooker wondering how many they could have scored?

A country in mourning maybe as a result and no let up in the 3rd/ 4th playoff as the Dutch also eased their way past their hosts.

6. Controversial moments ? Previous World Cups have witnessed Maradona's "Hand of God" to put paid to England's hopes of success in 1986, but as with 2010 after his deliberate handball to keep a winning goal out, it was left to Luis Suarez to provide the front page news in many countries as he wrestled with the Italians and was banned from Football in all forms as a result.

In my view though, only one word is adequate to sum it all was "Brazilliant!".