If Argentina overcome Germany in the World Cup final on Sunday evening then it will be the final insult to battered and beaten hosts Brazil.
The shock 7-1 drubbing by Joachim Lowe’s men on Tuesday evening will hurt far less than the sight of seeing Lionel Messi lifting the golden trophy for their great rivals at the Maracana.
The old enemy
Argentina are the enemy, and, in spite of the thrashing, every Brazil fan will be praying for a Germany win. The injury that ended golden boy Neymar’s tournament so abruptly and their semi-final exit will be nothing compared to seeing their greatest rivals celebrate on such sacred turf.
Germany will be the favourites given the way they sparkled against Luiz Felipe Scolari’s men, but Alejandro Sabella has lead the men in blue and white to the final with six victories, with just one more required to become champions of the world.
Messi will dominate the pre-match build-up given his impressive tournament and the fact the greatest player of his generation will now be gracing the biggest stage of them all, but Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain may also have starring roles to play.
Aguero will enter the final having failed to find the net in a campaign crippled by a thigh injury, and could use the final to become the last big name to rise to the occasion of the finals. Di Maria was absent during the penalty shoot-out victory over Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side, but the Real Madrid midfielder will feature on Sunday aiming to deliver a first World Cup triumph since 1986.
Revenge on the agenda?
Revenge may also be in the minds of many Argentineans after being dumped out of the 2006 and 2010 tournaments by Germany, with the latter an embarrassing 4-0 drubbing that bought to an end the brief managerial reign of Diego Maradona.
Maradona was the last man to lift the trophy for his country, and should Messi do the same it will end any comparisons between the two. Given his stunning performances for the best Barcelona team of them all, Messi would deserve his place at the summit of the game.
As Argentina prepare for the final, Brazil and Scolari will be preparing to face the Netherlands and Van Gaal in the third place play-off. It will be a match tinged with regrets and wonderment at just might have been for both sides.
Argentina winning will be an insult Brazil will struggle to ever recover from. Brazilians must prey the great German machine remains in steamrolling gear.
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