Sunday 13 July 2014

Pre World Cup Final thoughts

Tonight's World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina will be the third final I've seen featuring these two countries.

The first final in Mexico 86 is still the best final I've seen. The second in Italia 90 is the worst.

I'm hoping for something closer to the 86 version than 1990 but on paper tonight's final has all the ingredients for a great game.

Germany are clearly favourites particularly after the 7-1 defeat of Brazil last Tuesday. They're the best team in the competition in the sense that they're the most balanced team with the least weaknesses.

Argentina on the other hand have to some extent been a disappointment. When you look at the attacking options they have available upfront they haven't really produced any sustained and exciting football.

What they've had is a solid defence and relied on individual moments particularly from the world's best player Lionel Messi.

Argentina will have to play their best game of the tournament to win tonight and although they're underdogs they have the players and Messi to win the World Cup.

Part of me feels Germany deserve to win as they are the best team in the tournament but the best teams don't always win. It's a huge match for both countries.

It's 24 years since Germany last won the World Cup and although they've come close to winning titles in the last 10 years it hasn't quite happened for them.

For Argentina the wait is four years longer. They've become real underachievers in World football in the last 20 years, routinely producing top class players but not fulfilling their potential.

1986 was the last time they were World Champions and they haven't won the Copa America Since 1993.

Tonight's final could prove to be the last great opportunity to win the World Cup for Argentina. For years they've won world titles at youth level. Six players in Argentina's squad won the Under 20 World Cup in 2005.

Unfortunately for Argentina the production line of young talent appears to be drying up. Add to the fact, this year's tournament is on their own continent, they're backed by thousands of their own fans making each game feel like a home match; there's a feeling that if Argentina can't win the World Cup this year when can they win it?

Everything's set up for a great match. My head says a Germany win but Argentina can't be discounted. I just hope this brilliant World Cup gets the final it deserves.

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