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Players, managers of both sides react to World Cup final

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The teams have had their ceremonies and a bit of time to reflect, and they have spoken.

Thanks to the postmatch press conferences, we’re getting some insight to both the delight of the victory and the agony of defeat.

From the losing side first, there was much positivity despite the obvious disappointment.

Argentina struggled to score over the last three matches, and Lionel Messi took some flak for not being able to carry his team in the knockout stage like he had in the group matches, despite his eventual win of the Golden Boot.

However, his manager Alejandro Sabella supported his star, saying he’s got nothing to prove:

After he addressed Messi, he wanted to know all his players deserved respect:

“These are very close matches and when you make a mistake, you know it’s difficult to turn it around. But in general terms, I’m very proud and my boys played an extraordinary World Cup. It was very exciting to see them play and it’s clear they gave everything for the Argentine jersey. They can look themselves in the mirror and know they gave everything. I congratulate my players for their extraordinary work and also congratulate Germany on winning the title.”

Midfield engine Javier Mascherano was more crushed than his manager:

Translation: “The pain is immense. We gave it our all and are sorry for the people of Argentina. This sadness will be for life.”

Now, from the winners. Andre Schurrle, who set up the winning goal, was on cloud 9.

“This is the best moment of my life. I had to cry because I was so overcome. I couldn’t stop it. It was always a dream to become a world champion. We are so looking forward to celebrating with our fans in Berlin tomorrow.”

There was a pretty good shot of Schurrle with his girlfriend after the match before the medal ceremony, tears in his eyes unable to comprehend the moment as he looked towards the sky.

Philipp Lahm knows his team has some outstanding players, but even without a guy like Lionel Messi they were able to pull out the win:

Lahm continued, saying:

“We stepped up time and again in the tournament, did not let ourselves get distracted by any disruption, went on our way. And at the end you stand there as world champions – an unbelievable feeling. The team has remained quiet and patient.”

Germany defender Mats Hummels didn’t have the same elation of victory, having given so much on the field:

“I am still completely trapped in another world, physically too exhausted to be able to rejoice euphorically. But that will come in the coming days.”

I think he’ll find it was worth it.

German manager Joachim Löw:

“We were together for 55 days, have this whole project but actually started ten years ago. Our great strength was that we always have increased steadily over the years. If anyone deserves this win, its this team. Today there was only one deserved winner, and that was this team. It has developed an incredible team spirit and uncanny willpower. This deep feeling of happiness will remain for all eternity. That makes us all proud.

Finally, the hero of the day, 22-year-old Mario Götze:

Premier League AT HALF: Arsenal fights back, Hull City on top

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal (L) and Francis Coquelin of Arsenal (R) celebrate after Theo Walcott of Arsenal (not pictured) scored Arsenals first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on December 10, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
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Goals and controversial penalty decisions are a big part of Saturday morning’s quartet of Premier League matches, all of which are at the break.

[ STREAM: Every PL game on NBC Sports ]

Arsenal 1-1 Stoke City

Joe Allen took an elbow from Granit Xhaka inside the 18, and Lee Mason awarded a PK that Charlie Adam converted to give the visitors an early lead. But Theo Walcott scored his 100th goal as a Gunner off a classy Hector Bellerin cross to make it 1-1 before the break.

Burnley 2-1 Bournemouth

The Cherries will have to dig out of another hole this week, and it all began with Jeff Hendrick‘s phenomenal opener. Fellow Irishman Steven Ward scored an economical to goal to double the lead.

But Ryan Fraser continued his fine December with an assist on Benik Afobe‘s goal before halftime.

Hull City 1-0 Crystal Palace

Robert Snodgrass drew a penalty with a pretty easy grass grab, and the Tigers have a

Swansea City 0-0 Sunderland

Not much cooking at the Liberty Stadium.

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Koeman: “Nervous” Everton has a problem after another loss

WATFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Ronald Koeman manager of Everton arrives prior to the Premier League match between Watford and Everton at Vicarage Road on December 10, 2016 in Watford, England.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images
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One win in 10 for Ronald Koeman‘s Everton has the Dutchman on the hot seat.

Koeman seems to be clawing for air after the Toffees’ latest setback, a 3-2 loss at Watford.

The loss puts the Hornets ahead of Everton on the PL table, and — while unlikely — it’s a mathematical possibility that the Toffees could be a bottom half team by the end of the weekend.

[ STREAM: Every PL game on NBC Sports ]

That’s a brutal development for a club expected to challenge for a European place this season.

Here’s Koeman:

“I see a lot of similar problems in the team. The team is too much reactive. Of course it’s maybe a lack of confidence, but if you start the game well, 1-0 up, you need a bigger belief in the team and not going back and defending, and nervous, and not enough ball possession. In my opinion that’s a problem.”

A big problem with that? It can be put down to the manager. Is Koeman in trouble already?

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VIDEO: Hendrick scores incredible volley from distance

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Jeff Hendrick, take a bow.

Burnley’s Republic of Ireland international midfielder pulled off a stunning piece of skill on Saturday to put the Clarets ahead against Bournemouth.

[ STREAM: Every PL game online ] 

A long ball forward was flicked on to Hendrick and he took a stunning first touch to tee himself and then settled himself before spanking a volley into the top corner.

Sensational goal from Burnley’s club-record signing.

Click play on the video above to watch it.

Messi’s latest goal dares you to count the touches (video)

PAMPLONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 10:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between CA Osasuna and FC Barcelona at Sadar stadium on December 10, 2016 in Pamplona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
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There’s a danger in observing Lionel Messi on a week-by-week basis, and it has a lot to do with how he makes greatness look routine.

So while it’s easy to dismiss yet another mazy dribble through a defense, one of those “Frogger” style with calm-but-vicious cutbacks, try to consider everything that goes into Messi’s second goal against Osasuna early Saturday.

[ MORE: Watford 3-2 Everton ]

On first look, you might count 9 touches for Messi starting with his right-footed collection of the ball. But move to the slow motion replays, and recognize the truth: Often Messi is letting the ball do the work for him, essentially moving the duo closer to goal while he used his preferred left foot as a must-respect threat.

That he does it in such traffic and at full speed is incredible. It’s literally one of those goals in which a linguistic luminary like Ray Hudson would have trouble over-emphasizing the greatness.

Messi now has 11 La Liga goals in 12 matches, and 22 in 19 overall.

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