After thoroughly man-handling and humiliating the five-time champions and host, Brazil, 7-1, in what was an unexpectedly anti-climatic semifinal, Germany comes into Sunday’s final on a roll.
Attempting to become the first European side to win a World Cup in South America in five tries, if there is one team that may be able to end the New World jinx in the jungles and sandy beaches of Brazil, it is Germany.
Armed with a patient and lethal midfield that consists of Sami Khedira, Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger, forwards Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller and all-time leading scorer in World Cup history in Miroslav Klose, Germany has run riot in scoring eight goals while conceding only one appears ready to claim it’s fourth World Cup.
Not so fast.
in Argentina, you have a prolific and high-scoring attack led by Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Maxi Rodriguez, Sergio Aguero and standout goalie Sergio Romero that have two clean sheets in the knockout stages in wins over the Netherlands on penalty kicks and Belgium, 1-0. While not as offensively ruthless as Germany, Argentina has one weakness in tending to over-rely on Messi to create goal-scoring magic for them.
If Germany’s smothering and relentless defense shuts down Messi, they shut down Argentina.
I feel that this World Cup Final will come down to two things, Messi and goalkeeping, whichever team gets the most number of quality chances and dominates possession will be able to have consistent runs thru the midfield and counter effectively.
While Germany has many quality forwards to match Argentina, they don’t have a Messi-like magician, capable of scoring at will.
As I stated before the start of the World Cup, this is Messi’s chance to elevate himself into soccer immortality and amongst the football gods such as Pele, Diego Maradona and Franz Beckenbauer, with the proverbial cherry on top of doing it at the famed Marcana in the heart of long-time—and much-hated—rival, Brazil.
Being 90 minutes away from claiming the one elusive title that he desperately covets, look for Messi to have the game of his already storied career and stamp his claim to greatness over a quality German side.
Prediction: Argentina 2-1
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