Germany (three titles) and Argentina (two titles) will go head to head in the World Cup Final for the third time in the competition’s history. The two countries met at this stage of the tournament in 1986, when the Albiceleste won 3-2 in Mexico to secure the last crown, and again in 1990, when Germany produced a 1-0 victory in Rome, incidentally their own last world title. Tonight, Germany will be taking part in a record eighth World Cup Final, and will be attempting to become the first European side ever to triumph in South America, something Brazil achieved – in the opposite direction – in Sweden back in 1958.
"Messi is the key" said Sergio in La Turbie before flying out to Brazil, in mid-May on ASMONACOTV.
Hat-trick. If Germany win tonight, Europe will become the first confederation to win three consecutive World Cups, following titles for Italy in 2006 and Spain in 2010. Prior to today’s game, UEFA boasts ten wins, compared with nine for CONMEBOL.
Experience. If Argentina win, they will become the oldest team ever to win the FIFA World Cup. The average age of the Argentine squad on the opening day of the tournament on 12 June was 28 years and 336 days. The previous record was set by Italy in 2006, with an average age of 28 years and 262 days.
No home advantage. For the fourth World Cup in succession, the host country will not be champions. In 19 World Cup tournaments, just six countries have benefited from home advantage to take the title: Uruguay (1930), Italy (1934), England (1966), Germany (1974), Argentina (1978) and France (1998). Brazil and Mexico are the only countries to have missed out on the crown on home soil on two occasions.
Thirteen on ten. Germany’s Thomas Müller has become the 13th player to score at least ten goals in World Cup finals tournaments, joining four of his compatriots: Helmuth Rahn (10), Gerd Müller (14), former Monaco player Jürgen Klinsmann (11) and new all-time record goalscorer Miroslav Klose (16). Which goes some way to explaining how Germany is also the most prolific team in World Cup history, having scored a total of 223 goals, ahead of Brazil on 221.
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