On Wednesday, Argentina booked their place in the final of the 2014 World Cup, but only just.
In what proved to be a very tactical and intriguing semi-final tie at the Arena de Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, the South American giants failed to score against the Netherlands in 120 minutes of football.
The encounter went all the way to a penalty shootout, which Alejandro Sabella’s side won 4-2 to secure their place in the final.
Germany lie in wait for the two-time world champions, and the European giants will be favourites to win the tournament, according to Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard.
A night of good defence. Now #GER gotta be clear favourites for the trophy. Interesting to see what they're gonna do against Messi— Anders Lindegaard (@ALindegaard) July 9, 2014
After all, in their semi-final tie, the Germans humiliated hosts Brazil 7-1 in what will go down as one of the biggest shocks in the history of the World Cup.
Moreover, Germany have actually looked better and stronger; they have also been more organised and have a very talented group of players.
But so do Argentina, who have a certain Lionel Messi in their squad. The Barcelona forward has been a key figure for La Albiceleste in the tournament so far, as proved by the stats below:
|Goals||Goal Assist||Duel Won||Dribbles Won||Accurate Through Ball||Successful Final Third Passes||Apps||Mins|
The key to Germany’s victory in the final could well be how they can stop Messi. Against Brazil, they did not have to face the injured Neymar, but they must be well prepared to combat the threat of a player considered by many as the greatest of all time.