Germany vs. Argentina: Winners and Losers from International Friendly

Mark Lovell@@LovellLowdownFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2014

Germany vs. Argentina: Winners and Losers from International Friendly

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    Why didn't this happen 52 days ago??
    Why didn't this happen 52 days ago??Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Germany hosted Argentina in a repeat of the 2014 World Cup Final.

    Just 52 days on from the "Magic of the Maracana" the home fans paid tribute to the World Cup winning heroes. Wasn't this prestigious friendly always going to be one big back-slapping exercise?

    For the record, Argentina easily won the game (4-2) and did not appear to greatly miss the injured Lionel Messi.

    In fact, Angel Di Maria was absolutely imperious.

    A word to the wise, despite the result, you won't find any German World Cup winners listed as losers here.

    That doesn't sit right.

Winners: Lahm, Mertesacker and Klose

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    Picture book story
    Picture book storyFrank Augstein/Associated Press

    Since winning the World Cup, Miroslav Klose, Per Mertesacker and Philipp Lahm have all retired from the international stage.

    The three stalwarts and Joachim Low's assistant Hansi Flick were given a send-off in Dusseldorf as the Germans showed their appreciation for their efforts.

    All of #Germany says, THANK YOU, Hansi #Flick, Philipp #Lahm, Miroslav #Klose and @mertesacker!

    — Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) September 3, 2014

Winner: Gerardo Martino

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    Martino makes his mark
    Martino makes his markMartin Meissner/Associated Press

    Not a bad start to Gerardo Martino's tenure as Argentina's head coach.

    The 51-year-old only took over three weeks ago and enjoyed a dream debut in Dusseldorf.

    And all this without Lionel Messi...

Winner: Bastian Schweinsteiger

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    Schweini the new skipper
    Schweini the new skipperPool/Getty Images

    Bastian Schweinsteiger is the new German captain in succession to Bayern colleague Philipp Lahm.

    "Schweini" missed the game in Dusseldorf through injury but was there to soak up the World Cup-winning euphoria...before the game started, that is.

    Bastian Schweinsteiger confirmed as Philipp Lahm's replacement as Germany captain.

    — Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) September 2, 2014

Loser: Mario Gomez

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    Two former Bayern stars
    Two former Bayern starsMartin Meissner/Associated Press

    Mario Gomez will wish to forget this game in a hurry.

    The Fiorentina striker failed to make the World Cup squad after a nightmare run of injuries in Italy.

    Gomez missed three gilt-edged first-half chances in a miserable return to the national side.

    The ex-Bayern striker was replaced by Mario Gotze just before the hour mark, with boos and whistles accompanying him on his lonely walk off the pitch.

    It's a tough crowd in Dusseldorf.

Winner: Sergio Aguero

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    Aguero had more joy against Neuer this time
    Aguero had more joy against Neuer this timeMartin Meissner/Associated Press

    Sergio Aguero was only a half-time substitute in the World Cup final and appeared to be never quite 100 percent during the entire tournament.

    The Manchester City striker opened the scoring in Dusseldorf with a tidy finish on 20 minutes. "Kun" was a constant menace to the inexperienced German defence throughout.

    It showed what might have been perhaps, if he had been fit enough to start the final instead of Gonzalo Higuain.

Winner : Angel Di Maria

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    Angel of Destiny
    Angel of DestinyMartin Meissner/Associated Press

    An absolutely top notch performance from Manchester United's new signing.

    Angel di Maria provided the first three assists as he rampaged down the flanks. He then crowned his brilliant display with a lovely solo run and dink finish for the fourth.

    I imagine Louis van Gaal will be pleased too, somewhere in Manchester.

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