Blake Lovell (36)

5 Questions Heading Into the 2014 World Cup Final

Created on Jul. 10, 2014 1:48 PM EST

With the 2014 World Cup final only days away, let's run through the five biggest questions on our minds heading into the highly-anticipated tilt between Germany and Argentina.

1. How Will Germany Respond Following the Historic Win Over Brazil?

Surely Germany knew that it would go out and hang a seven-spot on Brazil, right? Not even a confident side like this could have predicted the outcome on Tuesday, but now Jogi Low's team must turn its attention to the most important match of the tournament. Some have speculated that Germany may experience a little bit of a letdown after such a historic outcome against the host nation. However, we're not talking about your generic international football team here. Germany knows what it takes to reach the pinnacle, so while Argentina fans may be hoping for a letdown, it wouldn't be smart to bet the house on it.

2. Can Germany Stay In Top Form?

This sort of ties in with question No. 1, but not entirely. Heading into the quarterfinal, there was a lot of discussion surrounding whether or not we had seen Germany's best at this event. We saw it in the first group stage match against Portugal, but after that, it didn't look like the same team. There was the draw with Ghana and lackluster performance against Algeria in the Round of 16 that were the most concerning. However, Germany seemed to find the defense that it had been lacking when it faced off against France, which ultimately led to the dismantling of the tournament favorites earlier in the week. Obviously the Germans found a groove against Brazil, but perhaps it all started with the convincing win over the French.

3. Can Argentina Earn Its Revenge From the Controversial 1990 Final?

There's certainly quite a bit of history when it comes to these two international powers. Argentina superstar Diego Maradona and company got the best of the then West Germany in the 1986 final in what is still considered one of the best World Cup finals in history. Of course, the most memorable meeting between these teams came four years later in Rome when the Germans got their revenge on a controversial penalty shot late in the match that would prove to be the deciding goal. Now, it'll be Argentina's turn once again to try and take back the momentum when it comes to winning the biggest match in the sport.

4. Can Lionel Messi Step Out of Diego Maradona's Shadow?

The comparisons between Maradona and Lionel Messi will never go away. There's one thing that Maradona has though that Messi does not: a World Cup trophy. If Messi wants to be considered the greatest footballer in the country's history, winning Argentina's first World Cup since Maradona did it back in 1986 would be a massive step towards that claim. You can debate overall skill all you want, but until Messi has the hardware to match, Maradona will continue to lead the way.

5. Will the Match Live Up to the Hype?

When it comes to a match of this magnitude, there is always going to be ridiculous amount of hype. But given all the storylines heading in and the history of both teams, it is definitely one of the most anticipated finals in a while. With an event like the World Cup that only comes around every four years, as a football fan, you hope that the game meets the high expectations. Considering that we have one of the most dominant teams in the world going up against the greatest player in the world, how could this match not be truly entertaining? Well, unless of course Germany repeats its performance against Brazil.
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