Germany vs. Argentina: Head-to-Head Record and Key Stats Before World Cup Final

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Germany vs. Argentina: Head-to-Head Record and Key Stats Before World Cup Final
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For the third time in their history, Germany and Argentina will contest a World Cup final on Sunday, heading to Rio de Janeiro for the right to be crowned 2014 champions.

For Argentina, it would be arguably their grandest achievement to triumph at the Maracana, Brazil's holiest football setting and the backyard of their fiercest neighbours.

But a stern challenge from Joachim Low's side sits between the South Americans and glory, with two of the sport's titans holding a long-term rivalry that dates back to 1958.

Read on for a breakdown of the Germans' head-to-head record against Sunday's opponents Argentina, along with some key statistics ahead of this crunch encounter.

 

Head-To-Head

Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press

According to the official FIFA website, Germany and Argentina have met on 20 occasions in World Cup (six), Confederations Cup (one) and friendly competition (13).

During that time, it's La Albiceleste who hold a clearer advantage over their European foes, having managed to win on nine occasions, drawing five and losing six times.

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The pair also enjoyed an intriguing rivalry in the late 1980s/early 1990s, where Argentina triumphed 3-2 over Die Mannschaft to win the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. Four years later, West Germany would get their revenge in the 1990 World Cup final, winning 1-0.

As The Independent's Sam Wallace points out, Lionel Messi bears a heavy burden in attempting to follow the lead of Diego Maradona and lead his nation to glory on the biggest stage of all:

Argentina may have the overall record in their favour, but it's Germany who have World Cup bragging rights, having beaten the South American giants three times at the tournament's finals, Argentina's only victory being that 1986 finale.

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This weekend, Low will hope that his side are capable of extending that record to four, with Germany having gone to extra time against Argentina on just one occasion.

Their most recent competitive fixture against Alejandro Sabella's men came at the 2010 World Cup, where they beat them 4-0 in the quarter-finals, and are seeking a similarly dominant display this time around.

 

Key Stats

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As well as being a race for the World Cup trophy, there are several figures within these two teams chasing down individual honours in Brazil.

Between them, the two finalists have seven players shortlisted to win the competition's Golden Ball award, per FIFA's official Twitter, with Germany contributing four of their stars, while Argentina add another three:

What's more, there's a very particular head-to-head emerging between the nations' respective standout scorers, with Thomas Mueller and Lionel Messi each hoping to leapfrog Colombia's James Rodriguez in pursuit of the Golden Boot.

Rodriguez scored six goals before Colombia's quarter-final defeat at the hands of Brazil, and ESPN FC break down how the rankings sit between Sunday's two prime candidates:

En route to the Maracana, Germany have been a free-flowing and offensively astounding presence at times, evidenced best in their 7-1 semi-final thrashing of Brazil.

WhoScored.com show just how much more easily they have found the back of the net over the past month:

It will undoubtedly be considered a moot point for some, but The Guardian's Kevin Mitchell indicates that a higher power might favour the South Americans on Sunday:

In the end, though, statistics, context and the figures on paper can tend to go of the window in situations such as this, where the occasion frequently tends to overcome any and all sense of probability.

The two sides have 90 minutes—or maybe more—to prove why they deserve this summer's seat of glory, and it looks likely to be a thriller.

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