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World Cup pre-game: Germany vs. Argentina

This is it. After one month and 63 matches, Germany and Argentina will fight for the right to lift the World Cup at the Maracana in Brazil, live on CBC TV and cbc.ca/fifaworldcup starting at 3 p.m. ET.

German spine vs. Argentine spirit

Argentina's Lionel Messi, left, and Germany's Thomas Muller are both in contention for the Golden Ball award. (Getty Images)

World Cup Final: Germany vs. Argentina

  • 3 p.m. ET, Sunday, July 13
  • CBC TV, cbc.ca/fifaworldcup

What’s at stake

Nothing short of lifting the World Cup at the end of the match. 

It’s the German spine versus Argentine spirit. Germany has a ruthlessly efficient central line running from Manuel Neuer in goal to Miroslav Klose at striker. And the Argentines play with an inspired zest in what is almost a home tournament.

Germany is looking for its fourth World Cup title, Argentina a third.

They have beaten each other once in a World Cup final. Argentina won 3-2 in the 1986 final, and four years later Germany won 1-0. 

Argentina has the edge in head-to-heads, with a 9-5-6 overall record. Each team has scored 28 goals against the other.

Impact players

Germany: Toni Kroos. This central midfielder seemed to score, pass and tackle at will against the host team in that stunning victory.

Argentina: Lionel Messi. He was all but a ghost against the Netherlands. But Messi is certain to play a lively match in the final.

What to watch for

For a while it looked like Germany was playing keep away with Brazil, and the Germans were taking turns at scoring. But that 7-1 scoreline is almost impossible to replicate. 

Winning a World Cup takes seven victories, not six. Germany has to keep its discipline and focus — not to mention its strong spine — against Argentina.

With seven goals in six games, the Argentines have shown their own variety of efficiency. But as CBC’s own Nigel Reed would say, they really have to put on their goal-scoring boots against the Germans.

However, let’s face it, Argentina played quite poorly through much of their semifinal match, helped only by the fact that the Dutch were even worse. Have they saved their best performance to win it all in Rio?

They said it

“After losing the semifinal to Italy in 2006, we know how Brazil, the players, Mr. Scolari and the fans feel. So we have to be modest and humble and take the next step. The emotions are great. We won, we’ve made it to the final," said German manager Joachim Low.

"Some of our players are sore, beaten, tired — the results of a war, so to speak. We have a final to play, with one day less to prepare and against a team like Germany. But with work, humility and seriousness, we'll do all we can to make it all the way to the top.” Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella.

The big number

311 — Argentina leads all 32 countries competing at the World Cup in total attacks, with 311. Germany is fourth with 250 attacks.

Obligatory fun fact

The original World Cup hardware, the Jules Rimet Trophy, spent the entire Second World War under the bed of FIFA’s Italian Vice President, Dr.Ottorino Barassi. It re-emerged for many years but was was stolen in 1966. According to FIFA, it was recovered — buried under a tree — by a little dog named Pickles. But, alas, it was stolen again in 1983 and never recovered. Oh Pickles, where are you?


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