FIFA World Cup 2014 Final: Germany Vs Argentina
Ngamtinlun Touthang *
The two-time World Champion Argentina had defeated the Dutch in the second Semi-Final in a penalty shoot-out to fix a date for the Summit clash against the three-time World [and also European] champion Germany later tonight. The later had defeated host Brazil in the other Semi-Final with a record 7-1 margin.
Now, fans of both the two contenders for the crown would be ecstatic to see their own team wining the WC. But the beauty of the game lies in that there cannot be two winner! One of them had to be contented with the runners-up title. This will be known latest by early morning next.
So, before we could actually watch the final, let us try to have a brief preview of the two finalists. Indeed, we will be having a new champion since the defending champion Spain famous for their 'tiki taka' style of play have already crashed out of the tournament in the first round unceremoniously.
First, the German team with its leading goal scorer Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose are the more favourite team for the crown after lifting it thrice in 1954, 1974 and 1990. While Muller had scored five goals, only one less than that of the Colombian baby face, James Rodriguez, Klose had set a new record by scoring his 16th WC goal surpassing that of Brazil's Ronaldo.
Apart from this two leading goal scorer, the German side also has the advantage of having some of the best player of the world including their Bayern Munich goal-keeper Manuel Neuer. In almost every department, the Germans look well-organised so far. The tiki taka style which they borrowed from their European rival Spain also worked tremendously well in their favour since they could use it offensively.
With three WC and four runners-up title against two each in favour of their South American rival, History also stands in their favour. In 18 appearances out of 20 WC till date, the Germans failed to reach the Quarter-final stage only in one occasion in 1978, whereas the Argentines failed to reach the same stage seven times in 16 appearances. In fact, the Germans have already set a record for reaching the Semi-final for four consecutive times.
The Germans also had a record for most number of WC goals with 223. Before this edition Semi-final, Brazil topped the record with 220 goals. The performance of the team in this WC is also highly impressive with already 17 goals which also include a 4-0 win over European minnow Portugal in the first round. Argentina have so far scored only eight goals with Lionel Messi scoring four of them.
On the other, the strength of the Argentines should not be underestimated though they look far behind Germany. In fact, reaching the final stage is never a mean achievement. With Messi, their top-scorer for this WC and four-time World Player of the Year, also the leading contender for the Golden Ball (Best Player) award in the team, it wouldn't be an easy task to beat them.
With 14 Copa American title, this greatest rival of Brazil in South America also has a number of world class player which include keeper Sergio Romero who emerges from the shadow to become Argentina's hero after denying Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder in the semi-final spot kick.
Diego Maradona, who led Argentina in 1986 to lift the crown in a thrilling 3-2 victory over the same opponent, is very much aware of the task lying ahead of the crown but he is hopeful that the South Americans can win their third WC against Joachim Loew's men. He is reported to have said that the match against Germany is not a mission impossible.
To have a deeper look at the team, the South Americans are playing only their fifth WC final against Germany's eighth. They have even failed to qualify for the tournament twice in 1954 and 1970. All this shows that the European powerhouse are much ahead of them. However, looking at the present edition, the Albicelestes are not far behind the Bavarians. Winning all the three knock-out matches without conceding a goal is not a small feat. Their goalless draw against the Dutch in the 120 minutes Semi-Final clash which ultimately gave them a chance to beat them in the spot-kick show that the Argentines can even managed with a much stronger team.
As such, with both the two team in full-form, it would be simply impossible to predict the winner until the match is actually played.
So, the only thing one can say as of now would be that: this final could be one of the most exciting soccer match with the European and the South American sides playing the game at their best level. Anyway, let's wait to cheer the new champion!
* Ngamtinlun Touthang wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
This article was posted on July 13, 2014.
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