Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta believes his side will learn from the mistakes that Brazil made when they were humiliated by Germany in the semi-final.
The Argentines are on the brink of compounding the host nations misery as they attempt to win the World Cup in their rivals backyard.
They face a German side who have just embarrassed Brazil but Zabaleta think that Argentina can learn from that match. He suggests that his side won't capitulate like Brazil did or make the same mistakes.
“Even if you concede some goals before 15 minutes or 20 minutes you need to keep calm and keep playing in the same way as we have been doing for these six games,” said Zabaleta.
"A football game is just about 90 minutes. If you concede some goals and you try to score as soon as possible, you concede space at the back and you are finished. It was a lesson for us, the Brazil game.”
Argentina have fought their way to the final without being convincing in any of their victories. Three group stage wins by the odd goal was followed up by an extra time win over Switzerland, a 1-0 win over Belgium and a penalty shootout triumph against Netherlands.
Although Argentina haven't been too emphatic on the pitch, their fans have filled stadiums off it. Ten of thousands of Argentinians are expected to take over Rio and Zabaleta is thankful for their fantastic support.
“You can see how the Argentina fans are excited, singing for 90 minutes. It’s special for us to play in this country,” said Zabaleta of the hordes of rowdy supporters that have followed them around Brazil.
However, the many Brazilians that will be in the stadium on Sunday night will ironically be supporting the side that have just annihilated them. But the Manchester City man insists that this only spurs on the team.
“Especially because Brazilian fans have been against Argentina for this World Cup. Sometimes, if you have all the people against you, you feel even stronger. I think we showed that and we feel very proud,” he said.
Many people are suggesting that Argentina are a one man team ahead of Sunday's showpiece, with star man Lionel Messi hauling the team to the final. When asked about these comments, Zabaleta did nothing to deny it and knows Messi is key if they want to lift the trophy.
“He is our main player, he is the captain of this team, he is the leader of this group of players,” he said. “We can imagine how special it would be for Messi to lift the cup. We need to keep our feet on the ground at the moment.”
Messi may have dragged Argentina through the group stages but Javier Mascherano has picked up the mantle and has been his side's best performer recently. Zabaleta acknowledges this and suggests that Mascherano is a vital player for them.
“You always need a player with his commitment, his leadership. He’s always thinking about the group,” said Zabaleta. “If he sees someone who is tired he is there to help you. I have no words to describe how good Mascherano has been for this team in this World Cup.”
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