It is the biggest event in sport, it is the pinnacle in football and it only happens once every four years. Yes after a month of intense international football we have reached the final match and it will see two of footballs greatest nations battle it out to be crowned World Champions.
The two teams which will meet each other in the final are Germany and Argentina. Both teams are past champions with Germany last winning in 1990 (their third) and Argentina winning their last in 1986 (their second). This game really is a classic team vs special player matchup; Germany very much are the epitome of a group of excellent players joined together, a special generation whereas Argentina are really only Leo Messi. I’ll break down each team and their strengths and weaknesses to come to a conclusion as to who will become the world champions.
Germany absolutely humiliated Brazil 7-1 in what was an incredibly impressive performance. People seem to be dismissing the German win because Brazil were awful but this was the same Brazil performance that put out good teams like Chile and Colombia; Germany dominated the midfield, were stout defensively and best of all were clinical in front of goal, it was the perfect all round performance. Germany has been the best team in this World Cup to this point and have mixed some classic German efficiency performances with the new attacking brutal German style; it has been the perfect combination. It isn’t really a shock that Germany have four players nominated for the golden boot because this as I have already said is a very special generation of players and you have to believe that a major international competition win is in their future.
Germany are the complete team; they have the best keeper in the world, with Lahm at right back they have an incredibly sturdy backline which is difficult to penetrate, the midfield trio of Khedira, Schweinsteger and Kroos control games and up front they have Thomas Muller, the guy who scores goals for fun at the World Cup. It is a very strong team which doesn’t have many holes in it at all, but there are always weaknesses in a team and Germany’s weaknesses are that they have a fairly weak bench (not sure they have players who can come on and get them a goal if Klose starts like is expected), they keep playing Ozil even though he’s been poor and defensively they are weak against pace.
Argentina are essentially a one man team, yes it’s a harsh statement because they have other good players like Mascherano, Zabaleta, Di Maria, Aguero and Garay but other than Mascherano the others haven’t really shown up, especially those of an attacking origin. Personally I think Argentina have managed to make the final without actually playing well which is quite a feat in itself. Argentina were fairly fortunate against both Switzerland and Holland but who cares if you actually make the final? Exactly. I don’t think Argentina will be able to win the final in 120 minutes unless Messi shows up, which is no guarantee considering he has only shown up for one match so far (against Nigeria). Again this is harsh but to be fair to Messi although he didn’t show up in any of the other matches he did create one moment of genius in each (Holland apart) which tended to be the difference between Argentina winning and not. Messi is the type of player who deserves to win a World Cup in his career and he just happens to be from one of the countries where it could happen.
Argentina have probably the best player of his generation in Messi, add onto that the attacking force which they have on paper and you can’t help but see goals, and Argentina’s defence has actually been outstanding in this World Cup (with four clean sheets) and it feels that although they haven’t played well they have some momentum behind them, a combination of both is the perfect formula for a win. Argentina’s weaknesses however are many, their attack hasn’t really shown up as of yet, they are carrying injuries to key personnel who have been rushed back because it is the World Cup (I’m thinking Aguero and Di Maria who will probably be on the bench despite the fact they clearly aren’t fit), they haven’t played a potent attack like the Germans yet so you have to wonder if their defensive performances are as good as they seem on paper, they are weak against pace and worst of all Messi looks tired and without him they are going to struggle.
The game is likely to go like this; Germany will dominate possession as Argentina sit back and hope to hit them on the counter and let Messi do something special. Argentina will try to get a 1-0 lead and hold on hoping the Germans can’t score. The best thing for the game is for Germany to get an early lead as this will force Argentina to come out and play football.
When you way up both team’s pros and cons and you throw it all into the mix there is only one winner from this game and that is Germany. There are only two things which I think can give Argentina the edge and they are that no European team has ever won in the America’s (which I believe to be incidental) and more importantly Leo Messi. If Messi plays like Messi can then there is no reason why he can’t carry Argentina to winning the World Cup, if he doesn’t they don’t have a chance.
Personally the only two scores I can see Argentina winning with are 1-0 and 0-0, I don’t think they are good enough to score more against the Germans and more importantly in my opinion I don’t think they are good enough to keep the clean sheet that they so desperately need. It just feels like it is the Germans time to win, this team deserves it, they have been the best team of the tournament and they have been knocking at the door for so long now that it has to eventually fall in.
There you have it then I have Germany winning their fourth World Cup and also becoming the first European team to win a World Cup in the America’s. Personally I’d love to see Germany win the World Cup because I’m a fan and I also tipped them at the start of the tournament, however the one thing I definitely want to see is a quality game which is a big ask based upon pretty much every other World Cup, but we can always hope! Leave a comment and give your thoughts about what you have thought about the World Cup (it’s been pretty damn good so far) and how you see the final going.