While it's absolutely devastating that the U.S. is not playing in the World Cup final, it's still a match to be watched. Argentina and Germany, who have met before on this big of a stage, are both looking to bring home the FIFA World Cup Trophy to their respective countries. It's going to be a showdown to remember.
It's South America vs. Europe. It's Die Mannschaft vs. La Albiceleste. On Sunday at 3PM ET, the 22 best players over the past month will take the field and try to win their country a trophy and prove to the world that they are the best football club. Here are 7 things you need to know before Argentina and Germany take the pitch for which should be a hard fought battle.
1. Club Resumes
The Germans have played in the World Cup 18 times and have won 3 championships (most recently in 1990). The Argentineans have played in 16 World Cups and have won the FIFA World Cup Trophy twice (most recently in 1986).
2. Players To Watch
The German and Argentinean rosters boast some of the best players in the world and truth be told the most attractive as well. Lionel Messi, the best player in the world, suits up in the #10 jersey for La Albiceleste and Thomas Müller wears the #13 jersey proudly for Die Mannschaft. Messi has 4 goals and 1 assist in the tournament and Müller has 5 goals and 3 assists.
3. Alejandro Sabella vs. Joachim "Jogi" Löw
Joachim "Jogi" Löw was an assistant for former German national coach and current U.S. coach, Jurgen Klinsmann, between 2004-2006. The 54-year-old took over as manager when Klinsmann left. The guy who mans the other bench? Meet Alejandro Sabella. The 59-year-old Argentinean born manager has been the national team coach since 2011 and in his first World Cup appearance he has made it to the Final! Sabella played on the 1983 Argentinean national team, who lost 1-0 to Brazil in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Final.
4. FIFA Ranking
Germany is ranked 2nd only behind Spain, who didn't advance out of group play. Argentina is ranked 5th with just Brazil and Portugal separating the two finalists. Clearly in this World Cup the rankings mean nothing with 4 of the top 10 teams not even advancing out of group play but despite that, this 2 vs. 5 matchup should be one for the ages.
5. Road to the Final
Germany defeated the U.S. 1-0, Portugal 4-0, and tied Ghana 2-2 in Group play. The Germans went on to defeat Algeria in the round of 16, they bounced the French in the quarterfinals and defeated host and World Cup favorite Brazil 7-1 to advance to Sunday's final. Argentina defeated Bosnia 2-1, Iran 1-0 and Nigeria 3-2. They downed Switzerland in the round of 16 and Belgium in the quarterfinals. Their next victim? The Dutch, who had their trophy dreams crushed in PKs.
6. They've Played Each Other In The Final Before
The Germans and Argentineans are no stranger to each other, in fact they've played each other in 6 World Cups. They've played in 2 World Cup Finals against each other in 1986 (Argentina won 3-2) and in 1990 (Germany won 1-0 on a late PK). Since 1958, Argentina and Germany have played each other 20 times with Germany winning 9, Argentina winning 7 and 4 draws. The game Sunday will mark the lucky number 21 matchup between these two powerhouses.
7. U.S. Coach Rooting For Germany
Jurgen (JUUURRRGEEENNN) is rooting for his home country of Germany. Obviously. The man, the myth, the legend was the German coach from 2004-2006, played for the German national team from 1987-1990 and despite not believing that the U.S couldn't win the World Cup and then supposedly told players to change their flights to play in the Final, Klinsmann is backing Germany 100% of the way. Obviously.
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