WORLD CUP: Germany will take home "The Cup."
Sunday Germany will face Argentina in the 2014 World Cup Final and it really is a fitting end to this outstanding tournament that the best two teams are the last two standing. Before, I tell who will win and why let's do a little review of how we got here and a bit of a history lesson first.
Game time is 3:00 PM on ABC and it will be played at the beautiful Estdio Maracan, in Rio de Janeiro. If the numbers hold up this final might set a United States rating record for soccer in this country.
Sunday's final is the sixth time a European and South American team has met in the deciding game of a Latin American World Cup. The previous encounters hardly set an encouraging precedent for the Germans as all five were won by the team from the western banks of the Atlantic Ocean.
Much has been made in the past few days of Germanys youth movement, the 2009 UEFA Under-21 championship team, of which six members will be in the starting line up in the World Cup final. That talent with its style and depth has German fans looking at what the hope will be an even longer run of World Cup success.
But Argentine head coach Alejandro Sabellas team boasts six starters from the fabled 2005 world under-20 champions. Messi, Sergio Agero, Fernando Gago, Ezequiel Garay, Lucas Biglia and Pablo Zabaleta all played for Argentina in the Netherlands almost a decade ago, with Messi, then just 17, top scorer and player of the tournament.
If you are a fan of Argentina then you are hoping that Messi, the worlds most gifted attacker can provide some decisive spark of individualism in a match contested by two very gifted teams. While the German side will be hoping that their ability to dominate and at times frustrate their opponents will serve them well come Sunday.
As is the case in all World Cups history plays a very big role in the lead up to the Sunday final. Can Germany be the first European team to leave South America with a World Cup title?
It is interesting that these two long time soccer powers and rivals last World Cup wins came in games against each other. The Germans won the 1990 World Cup played in Rome beating Argentina by a score of 1-0. It should be noted that back then it the West German team that beat Argentina.
Four years earlier the 1986 World Cup Final between these two teams was considered one of the best finals of all time. Argentina won in a thriller 3-2 over West Germany in the final played in Mexico back in 1986
It was a tournament forever remembered as the Maradona show. It was his Hand of God, goal that bounced England out in the quarter-finals 2-1 that to this day remains one of the most memorable moments in World Cup history.
In the final Germany fell behind two-nil to Argentina in Mexico City early in the second half before mounting an epic comeback to pull even at 2-2 with only 10 minutes to play. The Germans, managed by Franz Beckenbauer, got goals from Karl-Heinz Rummennigge and Rudi Voller to even things at 2 . The contest looked to be going into extra time before one more moment of brilliance came from the man of the World Cup. Maradona scored the winning goal and quickly became a legend and the Germans lost a final they thought they were meant to win.
So that sets up this 2014 World Cup Final this Sunday Argentina heads into this final feeling that this is much like the 1986 final in Mexico City where the Germans were the better side but they had the Worlds Best Player on their side.
Despite Argentinas having the outstanding striker Lionel Messi on their side this World Cup, the German side is too much for Argentina. They are as talented defensively as Argentina while having far more offensive weapons than do the Argentine's.
Their devastating win over the home Brazil team 7-1 in Tuesdays Semi-Final game showed the depth of talent this team has. Control and discipline are the two words that best describe this impressive German side.
By contrast the Argentine team has not given up a single goal in the knock-out round and only three goals in the entire tournament. So, defensively they have been outstanding. In contrast the Germans have been an offensive machine.
The Germans come at you in waves and never seem to let up and they will be well rested after their 90 minute clinic they gave Brazil. Argentina has only scored eight goals in the run up to the final, compared to Germany's 17. After their drubbing of the hosts, the Germans are now the highest scorers in World Cup history with 223 goals, overtaking Brazil.
Argentina played over 120 minutes in their 0-0 draw with the Netherlands on Wednesday that they won 4-2 on penalty kicks. Despite having Messi on their side, which is a powerful force, they will come to the finals on Sunday a tired and an undermanned team.
Germany wins the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by a 2-1 score.