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Germany vs. Argentina: Most Disappointing Performers from World Cup 2014 Final

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Gonzalo Higuain of Argentina celebrates scoring a disallowed goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Fabrizio Bensch - Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured Columnist IVNovember 14, 2016

For the first time in their history as a unified nation, Germany corrected the mistakes of four years ago to win a 2014 World Cup title on Sunday, triumphing over Argentina with an extra-time victory.

The manner of such a tight victory would have one understand that no player in the fixture was altogether unimpressive, but there were those who coped with the Maracana's pressure better than others.

Die Mannschaft took home the gold, but even they contributed their share of less impressive figures, and here we take a look at the performers who fell short.

 

Javier Mascherano, Argentina

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13: Javier Mascherano of Argentina challenges Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo b
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Following a match-saving performance against the Dutch in the semi-final, Javier Mascherano was being tipped as an unsuspecting hero for Argentina in Rio.

And with expectations so high, it would have taken a world-beating display for the Barcelona man to better those standards. It turns out that may well have been asking too much.

That's not to say Mascherano wasn't brilliant over the course of the tournament, however. As Oliver Holt of the Mirror states, Mascherano probably deserved higher praise than teammate Lionel Messi received:

But there was more the Argentinian anchor might have done than simply provide a busy presence capable of sticking the boot in. More was needed in Rio, but it didn't come in the end.

 

Mesut Ozil, Germany

On his day, Mesut Ozil is regarded as one of the finest and often most elusive midfield playmakers in the game. Sunday was not to be his day.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 13:  Mesut Oezil of Germany controls the ball against Pablo Zabaleta (L) and Enzo Perez of Argentina during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janei
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

For all the potential and threat we know the Arsenal man has within his locker, he also has a tendency to show extreme inconsistency at times.

In truth, this was the best Ozil performed all tournament, as David James attests, but that's saying more about how bad the rest of his tournament was, not necessarily glorifying his final:

In possession, Ozil is capably of weaving magic, but no matter how much he tried to force it on Sunday, the results weren't there.

WhoScored.com shows that the German was dispossessed on three occasions, more than any other player on his team, failing to complete a dribble or a defensive action all night.

 

Gonzalo Higuain, Argentina

Martin Meissner/Associated Press

It's a mountainous task for any striker to be expected to thrive against this German defence, but what little vulnerabilities there were to expose got wasted by Gonzalo Higuain.

Against Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, Sabella's leading man was very much shown to be crowded out, save for a few occasional sparks, failing to offer Messi a platform he could really spring from.

Ezequiel Lavezzi and Enzo Perez did their bit in delivering from out wide too, but Higuain had no chance of breaking through, ending with his 78th-minute withdrawal. 

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