[BRAZIL 2014]For all the talk about their two previous World Cup finals, in 1986 and 1990, Argentina and Germany have a more recent history. Germany will be favored on Sunday when it faces Argentina at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, but neither coach expects a game like four years ago when Germany crushed Argentina, 4-0, sending it out in the quarterfinals for the second straight World Cup.
What They're Saying ...
ARGENTINA."Our team is more conservative than four years ago, we are looking to triumph via a different path. The teams are different although most of the players are the same. We'll give our all as always, with sacrifice, humility, hard work, being down to earth, giving before receiving, protecting one another, so that Argentina can be a champion again. We will do our best. More than that we cannot do." (Coach Alejandro Sabella)
GERMANY."This team does not live solely on [Lionel] Messi. They have a good compact organization, better than in 2010. They can pressure opponents with their first line of attack early on, but they also sometimes fall back, and what is also one of their strengths - through defending and ball possession they bring Messi, [Angel] Di Maria and [Sergio] Aguero quickly into the game. They can be behind the ball with eight or nine and then launch quick attacks." (Coach Joachim Loew)
World Cup Final Countdown:
Paul Kennedy: Three keys to Argentina-Germany
Mike Woitalla:Germany's not so secret key to success
Paul Kennedy:Messi's big moment arrives with question marks
Ridge Mahoney:Very different impressions left of two previous finals
Starting Lineups ...
ARGENTINA. 1-Sergio Romero; 4-Pablo Zabaleta, 15-Martin Demichelis, 2-Ezequiel Garay, 16-Marcos Rojo; 14-Javier Mascherano, 6-Lucas Biglia, 8-Enzo Perez, 10-Lionel Messi; 22-Ezequiel Lavezzi, 9-Gonzalo Higuain.
GERMANY.1-Manuel Neuer; 16-Philipp Lahm, 20-Jerome Boateng, 5-Mats Hummels, 4-Benedikt Hoewedes; 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger, 6-Sami Khedira, 13-Thomas Mueller, 18-Toni Kroos, 8-Mesut Ozil; 11-Miroslav Klose.
Italian Nicola Rizzoli will referee the World Cup final between Argentina and Germany. It will be the third Argentina match he has done after the 3-2 win over Nigeria and 1-0 win over Belgium. The 42-year-old Rizzoli also did the Netherlands-Spain game in the group stage.
Injury Report ...
ARGENTINA.Angel Di Mariasat out the Netherlands game after straining his right thigh in the quarterfinals against Belgium. Sabella said the Real Madrid star is doing better but would not say whether he'll be fit for the final.
GERMANY. After leaving the semifinal against Brazil at the half, central defender Mats Hummels underwent treatment for tendinitis in his knee but he returned to training with the rest of the German team on Friday.
2010 World Cup. Germany 4-0, quarterfinals.
2006World Cup. Germany 1-1 (4-2 on penalties), quarterfinals.
1990World Cup.West Germany, 1-0, final
1986World Cup.Argentina, 3-2, final.
Road to Rio ...
June 15 in Rio de Janeiro
Argentina 2 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1.Goals: own goal 3, Messi 65; Ibisevic 85.
June 21 in Belo Horizonte
Argentina 1 Iran 0.Goal: Messi 90+1.
June 25 in Porto Alegre
Argentina 3 Nigeria 2.Goals: Messi 3, 45+, Rojo 50; Musa 4, 47.
July 1 in Sao Paulo
Argentina 1 Switzerland 0 (OT). Goal: Di Maria 118.
July 5 in Brasilia
Argentina 1 Belgium 0.Goals: Higuain 8.
July 9 in Sao Paulo
Argentina 0 Netherlands 0.
(Argentina wins 4-2 on penalties.)
June 16 inSalvador
Germany 4 Portugal 0.Goals: Mueller pen. 12, 45+1, 78, Hummels 32.
June 21 in Fortaleza
Germany 2 Ghana 2.Goals: Goetze 51, Klose 70; A.Ayew 54, Gyan 63.
June 26 in Recife
Germany 1 USA 0.Goal: Mueller 55.
June 30 in Porto Alegre
Germany 2 Algeria 1 (OT).Goals: Schuerrle 92, Ozil 120+1; Djabou 120+2.
July 4 in Rio de Janeiro
Germany 1 France 0.Goal: Hummels 13.
July 8 in Belo Horizonte
Brazil 1 Germany 7.Goals: Oscar 90; Mueller 11, Klose 23, Kroos 24, 26, Khedira 29, Schuerrle 69, 79.
Goalkeepers:Sergio Romero (Monaco/FRA), Mariano Andujar (Catania/ITA), Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors).
Defenders:Ezequiel Garay (Benfica/POR), Federico Fernandez (Napoli/ITA), Pablo Zabaleta (Man. City/ENG), Marcos Rojo (Sporting Lisbon/POR), Jose-Maria Basanta (Monterrey/MEX), Hugo Campagnaro (Inter Milan/ITA), Martin Demichelis (Man. City/ENG).
Midfielders: Fernando Gago (Boca Juniors), Lucas Biglia (Lazio/ITA), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona/SPA), Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid/SPA), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys), Ricardo Alvarez (Inter Milan/ITA), Augusto Fernandez (Celta/SPA), Enzo Perez (Benfica/POR).
Forwards:Sergio Aguero (Man. City/ENG), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/SPA), Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli/ITA), Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris SG/FRA), Rodrigo Palacio (Inter Milan/ITA).
Goalkeepers:Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Kevin Grosskreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Erik Durm (Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal/ENG), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria).
Midfielders: Julian Draxler (Schalke 04), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich), Christoph Kramer (Borussia M'Gladbach), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid/SPA), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal/ENG), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal/ENG), Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea/ENG), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Forwards:Miroslav Klose (Lazio/ITA).