This is the third meeting of Germany and Argentina in a World Cup final. If you remember the last one in 1990, Andy Brehme scored from the penalty spot at the end of a terrible game. Argentina parked the bus and threw away the keys. I think it was the bus driver who tripped Rudi Voeller in the 85th minute when he fell out of the bus as he reached for another pack of cigarettes. The game is memorable for nothing except the Germans won. The highlight of the tournament was the semi final between England and Germany which went to penalties. Probably England’s best team and best chance to win a World Cup since ’66.
Not great football but some of the dives could teach Suarez a thing or two. Half time comment: “Occasionally world football ain’t that great really”; Gary Lineker: “If Germany win, football wins”
It was an ill-tempered game, notable for the first two sendings off in a World Cup final. Pedro Monzón had the distinction of being the first player in 14 World Cup final games to be ejected, after being shown a straight red card for a hard leg tackle on Jürgen Klinsmann; FIFA had warned its officials to enforce the rules and Monzón had raised his foot during the tackle. Gustavo Dezotti, already booked earlier, received the second yellow card of the game when he hauled down Jürgen Kohler with what the New York Times described as a “neck tackle right out of professional wrestling”. Argentina entered the game with four players suspended and ended it with nine men on the field, overall losing over half of their squad due to injury or bookings Wikipedia – I have thankfully managed to forget most of this match.
Football has evolved. And it had to.
If we had carried on with the negative tactics employed by Argentina there is no way we would have seen the likes of James Rodriguez, Arturo Vidal or Paul Pogba shining as they did over the last few weeks. One could argue a case for the Dutch here as Robben has set the World Cup ablaze in their games with his pace and unbelievable acceleration but then the Dutch couldn’t score a goal in open play since the Sneijder rocket against Mexico and yet they managed 29 shots at goal in the quarters which was riveting to watch versus the 1 attempt Argentina had in the 1990 final!
The quality of football has steadily increased from 1990.
In 1998 France won the tournament on the back of electric pace on the wings and quality midfield play, Zidane and Petit scored 3 between them to sink Brazil.
2002 saw Brazil beat Germany with skillful players like Roberto Carlos, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, and Ronaldo all shining in the tournament and too good on the day for a German team without 4 key players.
2006 will be remembered more for the Zidane headbutt than the quality of football but both teams managed goals in the final. Both teams has several shots on target and were denied penalty claims inside the 90. Zidane exited the match in the 110th minute when the red mist took control of his mind. France missed him during the penalty shoot out and lost the game 5-3.
Who can forget 2010? Spain’s emergence as a footballing world power wasn’t a complete surprise and the Dutch ran them close in the final. Robben missed a few good chances to win it in normal time but tiki-taki had arrived and it dominated World Football and European football for a few years, so much so that the 5-2 hammering by Holland in the opening match was considered a major upset on sports prediction website Superbru.
2014 – Germany vs Argentina
Argentina have one player that everyone looks to, everyone expects him to deliver. Lionel Messi is undoubtedly one of the best players around today. Some believe he is the best ever, some people think the moon is made of cheese too. Anyway, a great player but is one great player enough for Argentina to win? He will run with the ball, he will create space for others and he will put them into scoring positions but will it be enough?
I rate Di Maria very highly, I think he may have livened up the match with the Netherlands if he was fit and it’s essential that he can play in the final if the contest is going to make it onto the list of great finals.
Germany played some attractive football in the first half against Brazil. Neuer is a machine in goals. Hummels and Lahm are probably among the best defenders in world football. Kroos is wanted by clubs all over Europe for his ability to spray passes to all corners of the field and he has a left foot rocket as a bonus. Mueller, 2010 golden boot winner, already has 5 goals in the tournament. Bastian Schweinsteiger, terrible name, tremendous player, work horse who adds speed and dynamic interplay in the midfield. Klose might get a cameo appearance to add to his new record goals tally for finals. This team is filled to the brim with great players. Can they win their 4th cup?
Whatever happens, I would like to see a game with more than one goal, no penalties, enterprising attacking play, lots of goal mouth action and if possible, the better team should win. Most of all I would like it if I neither notice the referee nor remember his name on Monday morning.
What is your prediction? Who would you like to see win?