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World Cup: 2014 final, Argentina's dream gone


Against France this Sunday (4 p.m.), Argentina will play the sixth World Cup final in its history. Back to the latest, that of 2014 lost against Germany.

Sunday July 13, 2014, Rio de Janeiro.

It has been well over an hour since the sun disappeared behind the relief of Corcovado.

Argentinian midfielder Javier Mascherano steps forward in front of the microphones, his eyes filled with tears, his voice quavering.

The pain is immense

,” he breathes.

On the lawn of the legendary Maracana stadium, the dream of an entire nation has come to an end.

Argentina has just lost the World Cup final against Germany (1-0) after a goal from Mario Götze in extra time.

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We wanted to win for the Argentine people, for those who came here to cheer us on.

But we lost

, ”continues Mascherano, dejected.

He can be proud, however, to be part of the team that managed to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup after twenty-four years of failure.

But his sentence is up to the regrets that the Albiceleste may have given the face of the match.

A course without fault but without convincing

Before the start of the competition, Lionel Messi's teammates are not big favorites but rather serious outsiders, like France or Italy.

The scarecrows are Spain, reigning world champions and double European champions, Germany, Euro 2012 finalists and which are gaining momentum, and of course Brazil in search of a sixth crown on their soil. .

On the coach side, Argentina can count on unprecedented stability since the mandate of Marcelo Bielsa in the early 2000s: Alejandro Sabella has been in office since 2011. He had three full years to prepare for the World Cup.

His team finished first in qualifying in the South American zone and took a group that combined quality and experience to Brazil.

Placed in a group F well within reach, the Argentines finished in the lead with three wins in three games, against Bosnia (2-1), Iran (1-0) and Nigeria (2-3).

But the game practiced does not appeal.

Uninspired offensively despite the big names in front (Messi, Higuain, Aguero, Lavezzi, Di Maria), the team relies on the insolent success of the "


", author of four goals, and especially on its solid defense .

Lionel Messi in Argentina's third group game against Nigeria.


In the eighth, quarter and a half, goalkeeper Sergio Romero did not concede a single goal.

Against Switzerland, 6th nation in the world at the time, the Albiceleste owes its salvation to a goal at the very end of the extra time from Angel Di Maria on an offering from Leo Messi (1-0).

Facing a Belgium still in the making but already surprising, it was Gonzalo Higuain who quickly opened the scoring before his team resisted the onslaught (1-0).

And after 120 minutes without ever worrying the Netherlands of Louis Van Gaal, the Argentinians won the penalty shootout (0-0, 4-2 on pens) and won their ticket for the final.

The Di Maria soap opera

The Albiceleste comes into the final without a major asset: Angel Di Maria, hit in the thigh muscle in the 38th minute of the quarter-final against Belgium, and already absent in the semis.

The loss is enormous, as the man is so important in the system put in place by Alejandro Sabella.

He comes out of an extraordinary season with Real Madrid, still today the best of his career.

Placed in a role as a midfielder by Carlo Ancelotti, he has just won the Champions League and scored in the final (4-1 victory after extra time against Atlético).

The joy of Angel Di Maria, scorer in overtime in the round of 16 against Switzerland.


In an interview with Telefe in March 2020, Di Maria reveals an unlikely story that takes place shortly before the World Cup final against Germany.

Aware of not being 100%, "

El Fideo

" is still determined to play.

The leg wasn't totally straight, but I wanted to play and I didn't care if I didn't play again.

It was the World Cup final, it was my final.

“But a letter reaches him from his club, Real Madrid, asking him not to play.

The reason ?

The White House is considering selling him, which a serious injury would not allow.

I knew that Real Madrid wanted to sell me, and so the letter arrived.

I didn't even want to look at it and tore it up.

No regrets, since Alejandro Sabella chooses not to start him anyway.

Di Maria was sold the following summer to Manchester United for around 75 million euros.

A World Cup classic

Germany-Argentina, a World Cup classic… And finals!

In 1986, Diego Maradona's Albiceleste won 3-2 in Mexico.

Four years later, they did it again, but this time it was Lothar Matthäus' Germany who won 1-0 in Rome.

The 2014 final is therefore the beautiful one.

After humiliating Brazil in the semi-finals (1-7), the Germans advance as favorites.

The Müllers, Hummels, Ozil, Klose, Neuer, Lahm and other Schweinsteigers have come of age.

Four years earlier in South Africa, they had already hurt Argentina in the quarter-finals (0-4), ending Maradona's tenure.

Alejandro Sabella renews the flat 4-4-2 installed since the start of the knockout phase.

The defense is stable, led by the experienced Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta.

In the middle, Javier Mascherano is associated with Lucas Biglia, two defensive profiles.

The keys to the game are entrusted to Leo Messi, placed next to Gonzalo Higuain in attack but with a role of false 9. On the wings are tenured PSG striker Ezequiel Lavezzi and Enzo Perez, instead of Angel Di Mary.

The eleven holders to face Germany in the final.

Le Figaro infographic.

Argentinian clumsiness punished

If Argentina can have any regrets, it's because they got the best chances of the game.

From the 4th minute of play, Gonzalo Higuain crosses his shot from the right too much when he is in a good position in the area.

But that's nothing compared to his mess in the 21st minute.

Taking advantage of a German recovery error, he comes alone against Manuel Neuer and sees his volley largely miss.

The Napoli striker then believed to open the scoring in the 30th minute… Offside.

Shortly before half-time, it was Messi who wreaked havoc on a German defense that managed to get out of the way on his line.

In the second half, the Albiceleste attacked again hard.

Alone in the area in the 47th minute, Leo Messi crosses his shot from the left too much.

An unusual miss for him.

The turning point of the match took place in the 56th minute.

Gonzalo Higuain is launched in depth, on the right side of the surface.

He wants to control the ball but is hit head-on by a kamikaze exit from Manuel Neuer, knee forward.

The penalty seems obvious.

But the referee does not flinch, Seville 1982 case law. The end of the match is poor in big chances.

Head to the extension.

In the 97th minute, Rodrigo Palacio finds himself alone in the penalty area, unfortunately his control and his attempt to lob leave something to be desired.

It's one failure too many.

In the 113th minute of the game, the German André Schürrle finds the young Mario Götze (21) between the lines for what looks like the first opportunity for the opposition.

Chest control, acrobatic volley from the left, Romero is beaten for the first time in the knockout stage.

Argentina will not return, and Germany wins its fourth star.

The action of Mario Götze's winning goal.


Javier Mascherano returned to the team this week with this fatal goal.

At the start, it was a harmless action, but it ended up completely disorganizing us.

We were physically and mentally tired after this third extra time in four games.

I will first help (Pablo) Zabaleta, facing (André) Schürrle on the right side and he manages to cross between the two of us.

(Mario) Götze finds himself unmarked in the area and this careless mistake costs us the World Cup...


Messi, a controversial award

At the time of the 2014 World Cup, Leo Messi is not yet a six-time Golden Ball winner.

He only has four, sorry.

He comes out of a once again impressive season with 41 goals and 14 assists in 46 games, even if FC Barcelona does not win any trophies.

Admittedly, the "


" is untenable during the group stage of this World Cup with four goals in three games.

But his performances during the cleaver matches, including in the final, are rather average.

Lionel Messi with his trophy for best player and Manuel Neuer with that of best goalkeeper.


This explains why his trophy for best player in the competition, received at the end of the final, was controversial.

Even Diego Maradona is surprised: “

I would give him the sky if I could.

But it's not fair for someone to win a prize they shouldn't have won, just because of a marketing plan.

“At the base of the suspicion, the fact that the title of best player is awarded in partnership with Adidas, sponsor of Lionel Messi.

A marketing stunt, perhaps, but a consolation all the same for millions of unfortunate Argentinian supporters.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2022-12-16

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