It’s time. After a monthlong marathon, and after seeing off the challenge of some of world football’s biggest names, Lionel Messi, a player for the ages, will lead Argentina out against Germany, a team for the ages, in the World Cup final. Nobody can deny that the two finalists deserve to be there—Argentina have built their campaign on the back of some fabulous defensive performances while Germany have played some of the most sublime football in the tournament, culminating in their momentous 7-1 victory over hosts Brazil in the semifinal. Germany are slight favourites going into the final, but are aware that no European team has ever triumphed in South America’s muggy climes.
We know we can write history. South Americans have always dominated on their continent and this is an extra incentive for us.
Germany coach Joachim Loew
Recent World Cup history between the two favours the Germans; they thrashed Argentina 4-0 in the 2010 South Africa edition and edged them on penalties when playing on home soil in 2006. Germany will be trying to win the World Cup for the fourth time, and also become the first European team to win the title in South America, while Argentina are aiming for a third crown. The teams have already met in two finals with Argentina winning in 1986, and Germany getting revenge four years later. Despite being among the most successful sides in their respective continents, neither team has won a trophy recently. Germany’s last success was at Euro 96 in England while Argentina won the 1993 Copa America in Ecuador.