Football heavyweights Germany and Argentina will meet in the final of the world cup bidding to claim the trophy for the fourth and third time respectively. Ahead of the showpiece Footybunker looks at who they have beaten, the team news, their history and what the managers are saying.
Path to the final:
Germany have scored 17 goals so far in Brazil, the most by any team in the history of the competition. They set the stage in their opening game rattling four past Portugal before stunning the world by hitting hosts Brazil for 7. In between they have been stunning at times and efficient when needed in beating USA, Algeria and France with Ghana so far the only team to stop them winning.
Argentina meanwhile have had a tournament of contrasts so far. The group stages wins over Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nigeria and Iran were inspired by Lionel Messi with the rest of the team struggling to match the performances of the four goal Barcelona man. Since then the forward has been effective if somewhat subdued but it has mattered little as Angel di Maria, the match-winner against Switzerland, Gonzalo Higuain scorer of the only goal against Belgium and Javier Mascherano indestructible in defence against the penalty shoot-out win over Holland, all stepping up.
Argentina are sweating on the fitness of two of their key players ahead of the game. Angel Di Maria, so effective in the knock-out stages, is struggling with a thigh injury while left back Marcos Rojo is a minor doubt with an ankle injury. Javier Mascherano is expected to be fit despite tearing his anus with THAT tackle on Arjen Robben while Sergio Aguero is also expected to be fit however and could even start.
Germany meanwhile are expected to be at full strength with Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels their only concern. Hummels, scorer in the quarter-final win over France, is struggling with a knee complaint but is expected to be fit to take his place.
Previous World Cup meetings:
It is fair to say that these two sides have history, plenty of it. These two teams have met 20 times in International football with Argentina currently shading on the win count, 9 to 7. However on the biggest stage of them all, where is counts, they have met on 6 occasions with Germany winning four of them.
Their meeting came in 1958 when the then West Germany won 3-1. Eight years later they drew 0-0 in England before Argentina claimed their one and only success against their rivals at a World Cup with a 3-2 success in the 1986 final. Four years later they once again met in the final with Germany exacting revenge with a 1-0 win over nine man Argentina.
Since then they have met twice more with Germany winning on both occasions. In the 2006 World Cup they met in the quarter-finals with Germany winning 4-2 on penalties after it finished 1-1 while four years later the score-line was more emphatic as a brace from Miroslav Klose saw the Germans reach the last four with a 4-0 win.
Interesting fact: If either sides win then they will have won the modern day version of the Jules Rimet trophy three times however they will not get to keep the trophy.
What the managers are saying ahead of the game?
Argentina head coach Alejandro Sabella “To be champions is very important for the country and for the players, who have struggled for a long time to get here. It is a game for which we don’t need motivation. To reach the final, and in Brazil, is a fact that we are even more proud of. Let’s give everything for Argentina to be champions again.”
Germany head coach Joachim Low “I have no fear whatsoever. We think we can tap into our potential and, if we impose our game, we will win. Regardless of what happens, it’s about winning. We know we can write history.”