Germany and Argentina will go head to head in the final of the 2014 World Cup on Sunday but both teams go into it off the back of wildly differing semi-finals.
Joachim Low's Germany crushed hosts Brazil 7-1 in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday, a game that will rank among the best and most shocking the tournament has ever seen.
The match was essentially won before half-time, meaning key players like Mats Hummels, Sami Khedira and Miroslav Klose could be substituted as the Germans played out the second half almost as if it were a training match.
Meanwhile, Argentina played out a dull 0-0 draw against the Netherlands and were taken all the way to penalties before winning 4-2 in Sao Paulo on Wednesday.
|Germany and Argentina World Cup 2014 Results|
|Won 4-0 vs. Portugal||Won 2-1 vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Drew 2-2 vs. Ghana||Won 1-0 vs. Iran|
|Won 1-0 vs. USA||Won 3-2 vs. Nigeria|
|Won 2-1 vs. Algeria||Won 1-0 vs. Switzerland|
|Won 1-0 vs. France||Won 1-0 vs. Belgium|
|Won 7-1 vs. Brazil||Drew 0-0 (4-2 pens) vs. Netherlands|
With a tougher game, an extra 30 minutes in their legs and a day less to recover, Argentina are the side with it all to do at the Maracana.
However, if we look back to the quarter-finals there is not much to choose between the two teams.
Argentina came through a tough match against Belgium, winning 1-0, and Germany beat France by the same score. One could argue that the French posed more of a test than the inexperienced Belgians, who seemed to disappoint.
A further look at the statistics shows that Germany slightly lead Argentina in both possession (59.4 percent to 58.5 percent) and passing accuracy (86.4 percent to 85.9 percent), per WhoScored.com, at the finals.
Those figures might not be hugely different, but in terms of managing the outcome of a game, having and keeping the ball is obviously crucial. As is scoring, and Germany lead the way there, too, with 17 World Cup goals to Argentina's eight.
The form guide looks to be in Germany’s favour, but Argentina do have the edge in one category: dribbling.
Lionel Messi averages 6.5 per game and he is closely followed by Angel Di Maria with five, per WhoScored.com. Germany's best player with the ball at his feet is Mesut Ozil, with just 1.8 dribbles per match.
These figures highlight the big difference in approaches from either side; Germany function as a team, while Argentina appear to rely on individual brilliance.
Argentina know all too well that individuals can win World Cups. The nation's most famous player Diego Maradona proved that in 1986, when they beat the Germans 3-2 in the final.
It remains to be seen if the individual approach or the team ethic will prevail at the weekend, but the world will be watching the outcome.
With Messi having four World Player of the Year awards to his name, few would bet against him rising to the occasion, but Germany's strong run through the World Cup will no doubt make that a difficult task.
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