World Cup pre-game: Argentina vs. Germany
Day 24, Match 1
Argentina vs. Germany, quarter-finals
Date and location
Saturday, July 3, Green Point Stadium, Cape Town
Live on CBC and CBCSports.ca (9:30 a.m. ET). Consult CBC's full broadcast schedule.
What's at stake
A spot in the semifinals in a match against the winner of Paraguay-Spain.
Player to watch for Argentina
Lionel Messi — The frustrated FIFA world player of the year remains goalless in the World Cup, but not for lack of trying. He's made up for it by distributing the ball to his teammates well, but he's getting more shot-happy and less creative as the slump continues. If Messi can use his considerable talent to get on the scoresheet, Germany could be in for a long day.
Player to watch for Germany
Miroslav Klose — The German striker remains his side's most formidable weapon. He absolutely tore apart England's defence in their Round of 16 clash, scoring his 12th career World Cup goal — three behind Brazil's Ronaldo for the all-time lead. Many will also remember that he rescued the Germans in the 2006 quarter-final against Argentina when he scored in the 80th minute to tie the match, which Germany won in a shootout.
Klose vs. Javier Mascherano — Argentina's defence has looked shaky at times, and it hasn't come up against a team that can counter as effectively and quickly as the Germans. The game could hinge on whether Mascherano, Argentina's captain and shutdown defensive midfielder, can track back and keep Klose in check when Germany inevitably breaks forward.
The Argentine perspective
"Why not think I can be a champion? Every night, I do. I have a hunger for glory so great that I can not imagine the great sadness there would be without the cup. I could not bear to lose on Saturday." — striker Carlos Tevez
The German perspective
"Argentina is the favourite. In one-on-one comparison, they have the better players, the greater individual class with [Lionel] Messi, [Carlos] Tevez and the like. But we have to find a team capable of creative solutions. We are close as a team and have so far shown that we can keep up with all the teams we have played." — defender Arne Friedrich
World Cup head-to-head
Germany and Argentina have a storied history in World Cup play, meeting five times, including twice in the final.
In the Mexico 1986 final Argentina, led by the legendary Diego Maradona (now the coach of the 2010 squad), took a 2-0 lead before Germany struck back for two goals in six minutes near the end of the game. But Maradona showed his brilliance by setting up Jorge Burruchaga for the winner seven minutes from full time to give La Albiceleste a lead it wouldn't relinquish, and its second and most recent World Cup.
Germany got its revenge four years later in what is widely considered to be the worst World Cup final ever played. Dour defensive tactics and brutal tackles from the Argentines kept the game scoreless until Germany's Rudi Voller found the net on a penalty kick five minutes from the end, giving the Germans their third world title.
The two bitter rivals also faced each other in the quarter-finals of the last World Cup, in Germany 2006. Miroslav Klose revived the host side's World Cup dream when he tied the game 1-1 with 10 minutes remaining, and the Germans won on penalties. But the game is also remembered for the brawl that occurred after the match, which saw two Argentines and one German suspended.
The two sides have also met twice in the group phase of the tournament: Germany defeated Argentina 3-1 in 1958, and the two played to a 1-1 draw in 1966.