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History says Germany has the edge

By Pabitra Gogoi
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RIO DE JANEIRO, July 12 � Germany and Argentina will revive memories of the World Cup at the Maracana on Sunday with both sides remembering the history of the mega event with mixed emotions.

Ironically both their last World Cup triumphs came against each other, with Germany lifting the trophy defeating the Argentines in 1990, while in the 1986 final, Maradona-led Argentina won the trophy edging past West Germany 2-1 in Mexico before the German Wall was broken.

Joachim Loew�s men have had the upper hand in their most recent World Cup contests, defeating Argentina on penalties on home soil in 2006, before thumping Maradona�s men 4-0 in South Africa.

Germany will be scripting history if they win. They will be the first ever European side to lift a World Cup on Latin American soil.

Both Germany and Argentina have a long and impressive road to the World Cup final and now again both the teams are set to lock horns in a match that has all the elements of a World Cup classic.

The Germans are aiming to finish which they have started since 2010 whereas the Argentines are determined to avenge the embarrassing 4-0 rout by the same opponents in South Africa.

Smart-looking Germany manager Joachim Low is one step ahead in the Sunday final as he is fortunate enough to have a bright show in this championship. He is expected to field the same team which played against Brazil in the historic semifinal. Striker Miroslav Klose will get support from Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Arsenal�s Mesut Ozil. Defender Mats Hummels has been in tremendous form.

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella witnessed Angel Di Maria of Real Madrid return to a light training session yesterday but remains extremely doubtful after suffering from a thigh injury. However, Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has fully recovered and could start instead of Ezequiel Lavezzi or even Gonzalo Higuain. As per reports available here, left-back Marcos Rojo is dealing with a sore ankle that did not allow him to complete training on Friday but he is nevertheless considered fit enough for the final.

On the eve of the final here, ticket-seekers are still roaming around the stadium. Supporters of both the countries in huge numbers gathered here to back their teams.

Head to heads, Argentina have the slight edge in all matches played between the two sides, both putting 28 goals past each other. Argentina win: 9, Goals for: 28, Germany win: 6. Goals for: 28. Current FIFA Rankings: Germany: 2, Argentina: 5. Top scorers at this World Cup Germany: Thomas Muller (5) Argentina: Lionel Messi (4) . Total goals scored by either sides in this World Cup: Argentina 8, Germany 17.

AFP adds: Messi, meanwhile, is seeking the triumph which will silence forever the remaining critics who argue that the absence of a World Cup title precludes him from a place alongside Diego Maradona in football�s pantheon.

�We enjoyed the game against Brazil, but we ticked it off after 24 hours,� said Germany striker Miroslav Klose.

That same steely determination has characterised Germany�s road to Rio, notably in coming from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw with Ghana in Group G and outlasting an awkward Algerian challenge in the last 16.

They coolly neutralised a dangerous-looking France 1-0 in the quarter-finals and swiftly turned their attention to dismembering Brazil.

�As a player or a manager I have never seen a team celebrate a big victory so quietly,� German team manager Oliver Bierhoff said after the France win.

From top to bottom, the German spine has exuded quality. Manuel Neuer has looked unbeatable in goal while Mats Hummels has been a silky and solid presence in defence. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira have proved a formidable midfield duo, allowing the likes of Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil to flourish. Thomas Mueller has been a deadly goalscoring threat � five goals so far in the tournament � while the 36-year-old Klose has chipped in with two goals, becoming the World Cup�s all-time leading scorer in the process.

�Brazil have Neymar, Portugal have Ronaldo, Argentina have Messi and Germany have a team,� ran one widely retweeted summary on Twitter this week.

Ranged against Germany�s attacking arsenal are an Argentina side led by 27-year-old Barcelona superstar Messi.

The four-time world footballer of the year came into the tournament determined to atone for two disappointing World Cups in 2006 and 2010.

Like Maradona 28 years ago, he has dragged his team over the line at key moments in Brazil. He opened with an individual goal against Bosnia, an injury-time winner to beat Iran, and two more goals against Nigeria.

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History says Germany has the edge

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 12 � Germany and Argentina will revive memories of the World Cup at the Maracana on Sunday with both sides remembering the history of the mega event with mixed emotions.

Ironically both their last World Cup triumphs came against each other, with Germany lifting the trophy defeating the Argentines in 1990, while in the 1986 final, Maradona-led Argentina won the trophy edging past West Germany 2-1 in Mexico before the German Wall was broken.

Joachim Loew�s men have had the upper hand in their most recent World Cup contests, defeating Argentina on penalties on home soil in 2006, before thumping Maradona�s men 4-0 in South Africa.

Germany will be scripting history if they win. They will be the first ever European side to lift a World Cup on Latin American soil.

Both Germany and Argentina have a long and impressive road to the World Cup final and now again both the teams are set to lock horns in a match that has all the elements of a World Cup classic.

The Germans are aiming to finish which they have started since 2010 whereas the Argentines are determined to avenge the embarrassing 4-0 rout by the same opponents in South Africa.

Smart-looking Germany manager Joachim Low is one step ahead in the Sunday final as he is fortunate enough to have a bright show in this championship. He is expected to field the same team which played against Brazil in the historic semifinal. Striker Miroslav Klose will get support from Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Arsenal�s Mesut Ozil. Defender Mats Hummels has been in tremendous form.

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella witnessed Angel Di Maria of Real Madrid return to a light training session yesterday but remains extremely doubtful after suffering from a thigh injury. However, Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero has fully recovered and could start instead of Ezequiel Lavezzi or even Gonzalo Higuain. As per reports available here, left-back Marcos Rojo is dealing with a sore ankle that did not allow him to complete training on Friday but he is nevertheless considered fit enough for the final.

On the eve of the final here, ticket-seekers are still roaming around the stadium. Supporters of both the countries in huge numbers gathered here to back their teams.

Head to heads, Argentina have the slight edge in all matches played between the two sides, both putting 28 goals past each other. Argentina win: 9, Goals for: 28, Germany win: 6. Goals for: 28. Current FIFA Rankings: Germany: 2, Argentina: 5. Top scorers at this World Cup Germany: Thomas Muller (5) Argentina: Lionel Messi (4) . Total goals scored by either sides in this World Cup: Argentina 8, Germany 17.

AFP adds: Messi, meanwhile, is seeking the triumph which will silence forever the remaining critics who argue that the absence of a World Cup title precludes him from a place alongside Diego Maradona in football�s pantheon.

�We enjoyed the game against Brazil, but we ticked it off after 24 hours,� said Germany striker Miroslav Klose.

That same steely determination has characterised Germany�s road to Rio, notably in coming from behind to snatch a 2-2 draw with Ghana in Group G and outlasting an awkward Algerian challenge in the last 16.

They coolly neutralised a dangerous-looking France 1-0 in the quarter-finals and swiftly turned their attention to dismembering Brazil.

�As a player or a manager I have never seen a team celebrate a big victory so quietly,� German team manager Oliver Bierhoff said after the France win.

From top to bottom, the German spine has exuded quality. Manuel Neuer has looked unbeatable in goal while Mats Hummels has been a silky and solid presence in defence. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira have proved a formidable midfield duo, allowing the likes of Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil to flourish. Thomas Mueller has been a deadly goalscoring threat � five goals so far in the tournament � while the 36-year-old Klose has chipped in with two goals, becoming the World Cup�s all-time leading scorer in the process.

�Brazil have Neymar, Portugal have Ronaldo, Argentina have Messi and Germany have a team,� ran one widely retweeted summary on Twitter this week.

Ranged against Germany�s attacking arsenal are an Argentina side led by 27-year-old Barcelona superstar Messi.

The four-time world footballer of the year came into the tournament determined to atone for two disappointing World Cups in 2006 and 2010.

Like Maradona 28 years ago, he has dragged his team over the line at key moments in Brazil. He opened with an individual goal against Bosnia, an injury-time winner to beat Iran, and two more goals against Nigeria.

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