Germany meets Argentina in World Cup 2014 Final on this Sunday. This is going to be a clash of Titans, With Messi, the World Footballer of the year 2008- 2012 four times in a row, the expectations of an Argentina win is at all time high in recent times. However, Football is more about strategy and teamwork rather than individual brilliance. Portugal had Cristiano Ronaldo, the current world player of the year (2013) and an iconic figure in football with largest Twitter following. However, the team failed to enter even the Round of 16 and made a premature exit.
Both the teams met last in World Cup final 24 years back When Lothar Mattaus’ Germany won 1-0 in 1990 avenging a defeat in 1986 to Diego Maradona’s Argentina 2-3. What happens on Sunday will not only decide who will be the Champion in 2014 but the way Football will be played in coming generations.
1. The Performance upto the final (STATISTICS)
Goals Scored – Germany 17 Argentina 8
Shots on Target – Germany 70% Argentina 60%
Completed passes – Germany 3, 421 Argentina 2,928
Pass Suceess rate – Germany 80% Argentina 80%
Total Distance per Match – Germany 116 km Argentina 114 km
All vital statistics point out the superiority of Germany as a team in this world cup.
2. The Killer Instinct
Germany seem to have this ‘killer instinct’ back. In the matches to the final, Germany have been able to score a goal in first 15 minutes against heavyweights like Portugal, France and Brazil. Argentina has been a slow starter scoring late in the game. Interesting to note that Germany has won all games where they have been able to score first. Another interesting point is that Germany has been able to win all matches without reaching for penalty shoot outs unlike Argentina whose last semi final victory over Dutch was only through penalty after a scoreless game.
Germany will be on the attack through the midfield to create gaps in Argentina defense. Argentina will try to neutralize the attack with equal vigour and determination. And whenever there is a chance, Messi may lead the counterattack with deadly swiftness and brilliant footwork.
3. Tried vs Tired?
Germany is now a highly motivated team after their magic like performance in beating Brazil 7-1. However, this victory has not gone over their head. In an exclusive interview to Times of India the Germany striker Thomas Muller ( in race for Golden Boot with 5 goals so far consecutively for the second world cup a record that he shares with compatriot Klose) , has made it clear that final is nothing but ‘win’ match and a loss will undo all spectacular performance so far.
On the other hand, Messi is absolutely exhausted says his father George. In fact, Messi who started with a bang scoring four goals and four man of the match in initial games, has been far from convincing in Quarter final and Semi Final. Has he peaked out early in the game? And since Argentina’s fortune lies squarely on his shoulders- or rather feet to be more accurate- this may not bode well for Argentina.
4. High Tech Preparations
It has been reported in the press that Germany has partnered with a German software firm to create a tool that decides what should be the pace of game, which area to press upon based on performance data collected from video inputs from on-field cameras. The data enables coach to target performance metrics for each player on a dynamic basis. Besides, they have also been using a giant data base at Cologne’s Sports University to assess players’ reaction in pressure situations and how they behave when fouled, their preferred routes to opponent’s penalty area etc.
While all teams use technology to improve their performance, probably this is first time it is being used by Germany in such a comprehensive way for optimal physical and psychological performance.
It remains to be seen whether this technological edge will help Germany lift the World Cup for the fourth time after having entered Semi Finals four times in a row, an unparalleled feat.
5. Crowd Support
The best attacking side of this world cup is pitted against the best defending side, as per a report in Washington Post. Germany will have the chance to demonstrate that attack is the best defense. And as a topping, Germany would have crowd support from Brazil who will not like their arch rival Argentina to lift the cup in their territory. “If Argentina wins, I’ll stop watching football. They just can’t win,” said 27-year-old Gabriel Tedde, from Sao Paulo as reported in BBC.
Microsoft’s Cortana is the best technology based prediction system based on several factors which may determine the outcome of a game. Its World Cup predictions so far have been correct. Now it gives an edge to Germany over Argentina in the final.
Finally, my own bet- Germany will win, however, with a slender margin with a goal difference of one.
Read More By Hari Hara Mishra
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