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Re-Surfacing Lost Rivalry: Argentina vs Germany

 The stage is set for the actors as the world eagerly awaits for the drama to unfold. The script was written way back in 1986 when Germany was not unified and Argentina was still recovering from the nightmare of nearly a decade of tormenting military rule and sentiment of Falkland War.



Author's note: We like to apologize for a mistake in the infographic. It will be 'Finals' instead of 'Semi-finals 2.'


In that year, Argentina scripted its second World Cup win under the heroics of Diego Maradona against West Germany. The final  match was in Argentina’s hands as they went ahead by two goals in the 56th minute. However, the unending show of valour was rewarded when the Germans equalised with two back-to back goals in the final 15 minutes of the match. Their fairy-run was short-lived as a brilliant pass from the man himself, Maradona, sealed the hopes of the Germans.


Argentina was hailed as the World Champions in front of an overwhelming 110,000 in the colossal Estado Azteca of Mexico. Four years after basking in the championship glory, Argentina found itself at a similar stage again in front of the men in white, red and black.


The saying, “Time heals all wounds,” held its worth this time for the West Germans as they edged past the Argentines 1-0 in an infamous match at the dawn of a new decade in 1990. Two red cards saw Argentina fighting with nine men. The Germans scored from a controversial penalty in the dying moments of the match. This also marked the beginning of the end for the Argentine great, Maradona.


These two teams did end up playing against each other again in the quarter finals of 2006 and 2010. One of them saw players and officials from both camps trading punches with each other, while the other saw Maradona resign as the Argentina coach, as tears flowed in the dressing room. On both occassions, Argentina had lost.


After more than an interlude of two decades and a half, the script has revived. It has opened the floodgates down the memory lanes for football lovers worldwide, as Germany and Argentina face each other for the third time in a World Cup final.


The number 10 jersey painted in white and blue, which was on Maradona, would be carried by a similar short-statured, left-footed genius Lionel Messi. In many ways, Messi makes people reminisce the great Maradona, but he is not a controversial figure as Maradona was back in his days. However, Messi would probably like to achieve the feat of being a cause celebre or atleast a part of his team winning this Sunday’s final match.


The Diemannschaft, after decimating the hosts Brazil, will be aiming at something similar against Argentina. The Argentines had to rely on penalties to go to the finals; no one expected them in the finals especially after their World Cup performance, so far. They took 92 minutes to break open the Iranian defence in the group stages and 118 minutes against Switzerland in the round of 16.


Well, after Mexico City and Rome, the stage is again set for these actors with a history to take over in Rio De Janeiro. 


-Sayan Ganguly


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