After a monthlong festival of football in Brazil, the glorious end is in sight. The 2014 World Cup final will take place at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, July 13.
And as an appetiser to the main course, we have the third-place match at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, on Saturday.
The full coverage information has already been made available, so read on for a breakdown of where to watch each match (including on mobile devices) and a preview of the final.
|Date||Time (BST)||Time (ET)||Match||TV Info||Live Stream|
|July 12||9 p.m.||4 p.m.||3rd place play-off||ESPN/ITV||WatchESPN/ITV Player|
|July 13||8 p.m.||3 p.m.||Final||ABC/ITV/BBC1||WatchESPN/ITV Player/BBC iPlayer|
Germany v Argentina/Netherlands
Joachim Low's Germany side couldn't possibly go into this final in a better position.
Not only did they humiliate hosts Brazil 7-1 in their semi-final on Tuesday, but the game was won before half-time, meaning they could play the second half like a training match and even rest key players.
Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira and Miroslav Klose were all substituted with the final in mind, but not before the latter had become the top scorer in World Cup history.
Klose's close-range strike (is there any other type from the German?) for Germany's second goal in Belo Horizonte edged him past Ronaldo's total of 15 and on to 16, with a game still to play at this year's event.
WOW: Miroslav Klose's record 16 World Cup goals - his furthest from the penalty spot. pic.twitter.com/L481yaBbLi— BBC Sporf (@BBCSporf) July 8, 2014
In the mid-stages of their World Cup campaign Germany had struggled to find the right balance in midfield with Philipp Lahm reprising his role for Bayern Munich in the centre of the pitch.
However, Low reverted Lahm to full-back in the quarter-final against France and stuck with the move against Brazil.
The Germans reaped the rewards, and Low is unlikely to make any changes to the line-up for the final.
Benedikt Howedes v Arjen Robben
There is one perceived weakness in the team, with Schalke 04 centre-back Benedikt Howedes playing out of position at left-back.
If the Netherlands go through to the final, Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben, who operates on the right of a front three for the national team, will be relishing the chance of testing Howedes.
Robben loves to run with the ball at pace, leading his team with an average of five dribbles per game, according to WhoScored.com, and should really test Howedes' mobility and knowledge of the full-back position.
That battle could hold the key to the game.
Bastian Schweinsteiger v Lionel Messi
If, on the other hand, Argentina make it to the final it will be Lionel Messi, of course, who poses the key threat to the Germans.
Operating through the middle, behind a lone striker, the four-time World Player of the Year is beginning to replicate his club form with Barcelona for his national team.
He has four goals and one assist from his five games thus far. He also trumps team-mate Angel Di Maria in the dribbling stats with 5.8 per game to the Real Madrid winger's 5.0, per WhoScored.com.
If Low sticks with his semi-final line-up it will be Bastian Schweinsteiger who is detailed with nullifying that threat.
While the Bayern Munich midfielder’s defensive stats might not be anything to get excited about, the last time the duo met, in the Champions League in 2013, it was Schweinsteiger's side that came out on top. Bayern Munich won 7-0 over two legs—a result that shocked European club football nearly as much as Germany's semi-final victory shocked the world.
Whoever goes through to the final, Germany will be favourites, at 3-4 with Oddschecker.com, for what will surely be a cracking match.