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
"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
"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
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. Referee
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
Injury Report ... ARGENTINA. Angel Di Maria
sat 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.
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. Past Meetings 2010 World Cup.
Germany 4-0, quarterfinals. 2006 World Cup.
Germany 1-1 (4-2 on penalties), quarterfinals. 1990 World Cup.
West Germany, 1-0, final 1986 World Cup.
Argentina, 3-2, final.
Road to Rio ...
ARGENTINA. 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.) GERMANY. June 16 in Salvador 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. Rosters ... ARGENTINA Goalkeepers:
Sergio Romero (Monaco/FRA), Mariano Andujar (Catania/ITA), Agustin Orion (Boca Juniors). Defenders:
(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). GERMANY 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).