Germany vs Argentina 07/13/2014 Free FIFA World Cup Final Pick and Preview
Argentina vs Germany
Sunday 13th July 2014 20:00(GMT)
The Line: Germany Draw Argentina See the Latest Odds
TV: BBC; UTV:Fox Sports:ESPN; RTE; ABC
If all things were equal and every team since the inception of the World Cup used eleven players and three substitutes then only 700 players would appear in a World Cup final, every 100 years! All in theory of course as there were no substitutes until 1954 and even then only injured players could be subbed until 1970 when the current format as we know it was brought in. Thats an amazing statistic when you look at the numbers, so on Sunday a possible 28 players will get their chance to be written into history and will be looking for it to be on the winning side. As World Cup's go this one has been a tremendous spectacle for many reasons but mostly for the underdogs, who are starting to appear in the knockout stages with Algeria, Costa Rica and the United States all making waves and the Costa Rican's making the Quarter Finals. It wont be long before a team outside of South America/Europe competes for a title.
So on that premise am I to think that Argentina as underdogs on Sunday should be taken to win the title? Well funnily enough I think that just might be what happens. Lionel Messi is a once in a lifetime type of player, gifted with natural balance, speed, touch and vision he has graced the World stage for many years with Barcelona, it is now his time to shine with Argentina. The comparisons with Maradona are inevitable the style of play, ability and joy that theyboth brought/bring to viewers is endless. Messi lit up the Group stages but has been quiet by his standards in the knockout phase, he did however lay on the winning goal against Switzerland and although he cut a frustrated figure against Holland he stepped up to cooly slot the first penalty. This is not a one man team but this one man is the fulcrum for Argentina's offensive success. On the other side of the ball Javier Mascherano has been brilliant for Argentina, curtailing the effectiveness of Robben in the semi final and shutting down the opposition at every turn. Messi may wear the captains armband but Javier Mascherano looks to me to be the real leader of this side, when in need of a pep talk you will not see Messi making the speech, he does lead by example with his play but it is his Barcelona colleague that puts fire in the belly with his passionate words. As long as Mascherano and Messi are both firing on all cylinders this Argentina team are going to be very hard to beat. There is an abundance of talent through the squad though with Aguero, Romero, Garay, Lavezzi, Higuain and Di Maria and this should not be overlooked, the Germans are being hailed as a great team but there is nothing too shabby about this Argentina team either and they very much look like a cohesive unit both offensively and defensively.
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Seven goals, against Brazil in a World Cup Semi final, almost unbelieveable. In fact if you were to say that Germany would score seven prior to the game you may have been locked up in an Asylum. But that is exactly what Germany did, with ruthless efficiency the Germans cut through Brazil's defensive deficiencies and had the game all but wrapped up by the fourtieth minute. Miroslav Klose became the all time World Cup leading scorer with sixteen goals but his young compatriot Thomas Muller notched his tenth goal in World Cups and at the age of twenty four will surely be a candidate to take Klose' title in the coming years. Germany are without doubt a great team but the semi final was too one sided and flattered the Germans a bit. Brazil just capitulated, the pressure got to them and they had no answers defensively. But at the other end Germany gave up enough chances for Brazil to score four or five if the Brazilians had a striker then this game could easily have finished 7-5 as ridiculous as that sounds. Joachim Lowe has done an excellant job getting Germany here and was under pressure prior to the World Cup , the German public expect the team to bring home the trophy now the only question is will they?
I've had an inkling that Argentina would be here since the tournament started, Lionel Messi is one of the two best players on the planet and the appearance of Argentina in this final marks a chance for him to lay down a marker as one of the best of all time. Special players like Messi dont often let these chances slip by and although the Germans will have a plan to close him down and deny him the space I think that they may not be able to. The German defence to me has looked suspect at times, yes the team as a whole are a great side but I just think that Argentina are just as difficult to beat and this game should feel almost like a home game to the Argentines who should outnumber the Germans in the stadium. I am going to take Messi and Argentina to lift their third title in what should be an epic encounter. Follow me on twitte@antonpippo