After 62 matches, 167 goals and 200 million crying Brazilians we have finally reached the climax of an enthralling World Cup. But, will the send off do justice to a tournament which has brought such unbelievable shocks and high quality matches?
Argentina and Germany have both been in this position before, the two sides faced each other in consecutive finals in 1986 and 1990 with a trophy apiece and the teams of today are very comparable to their predecessors.
Argentina have been unconvincing in the group stage sometimes relying on the magic of one man, we all know who that is, in many ways related to the Argentine side of Italia '90 who only qualified for the knockout stages as one of the best 3rd placed teams and on occasions relied on Diego Maradona, sometimes even legally, to do the business.
Germany are the true meaning of team, consisting of players all over the field who you would expect to do a job. In fact, the squad of today is like most German national sides ever constructed; sometimes look sublime, sometimes inconsistent but one thing is for certain, they will always get the job done. The qualities of a stereotypical German side which have been mirrored by the current national team who have defended one goal leads, won games late on and of course shown their class, is Tuesday evening a good enough example?
Compare and contrast
Comparing past to present can sometimes become tedious as football is so unpredictable, but I expect both managers will bring out the perfect case study of how to beat each other in a World Cup final should it be needed.
Fast-forward to the modern day and Germany will head to Rio knowing they are favourites, a tag that they will be ruing as the pressure will most certainly be on them. It is hard to see Sabella's side troubling the well-oiled, unrelenting engine that charged into Belo Horizonte on Tuesday eve, yet, we have seen another side to the Germans, a less convincing side, a team that were taken to extra time and, at times troubled by Algeria.
Yes, that is the same Algeria who four years ago were beaten 4-0 by Egypt and provided one of the worst games in history in a ludicrously unremarkable 0-0 draw with England in Cape Town. Germany managed to find enough to win this game, an attribute that has been constant with both finalists.
Admittedly, this feature does not bode well for an exciting spectacle on Sunday with both teams possessing the belief that one goal will be enough for glory. This is 2014 though, anything is possible and on occasions the games that looked like write-off's have provided us with some of the most enthralling encounters. Often form and tactics go out the window in such vital games and so it would take a brave man to predict what will happen. Here goes then:
In all six Argentine victories we are yet to see a World Cup winning performance so you could be forgiven for thinking "Surely it will be Germany's year". However, the quality and depth in their ranks in unmatched by any international or club sides with 2013/14 French and English domestic league winners, a Champions League winner and arguably the best player ever to grace the planet all attacking options.
When a player like Juventus' Carlos Tevez is left at home, or in this case on holiday, it is clear that Argentina have an attacking force to be reckoned with. The defensive frailties expected from the weak-looking Argentine back four have been non-existent and at times, quite scarily, even Martin Demichelis has looked competent in every category.
Admittedly, there is a lot of football to be played before Messi will even be able to consider hoisting the prestigious World Cup trophy. However, in my opinion the extra incentive of getting one, and quite a big one at that, over their great rivals Brazil by winning it on their turf gives them the edge over Joachim Löw's Germany. Will it finally be the Argentine performance we have been waiting for?
I am going for a 1-0 Argentina win, post your predictions and reasons in the comments below.
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