Sunday will see millions of people sit down around the world to watch the FIFA World Cup final. It is the world's most viewed sporting event and the 2014 final between Germany and Argentina is sure to grab an incredible amount of attention. Not only because it is between two of world #Football's 'superpowers', but because it sees the classic rivalry between South America and Europe re-ignite itself. The last time a team from each continent made the final was 2002 when Brazil faced Germany, which was something of a regular occurrence with every final from 1986 through to 2002 involving a South American against a European side. 2006 and 2010 saw back to back all-European finals for the first time since 1934 and 1938. Now, as Germany and Argentina go head to head, they also become the two teams to have faced each other the most in World Cup finals: 1986, 1990 and 2014. 


The 1986 final in Mexico City saw West Germany reach its second successive final, having lost to Italy in 1982. However, in their way was Diego Armando Maradona, a player that had almost single-handedly carried Argentina to the final, scoring two of the most famous goals in history in the process against England in the quarter-final. While Maradona failed to score in the final, the Albiceleste proved too much for West Germany overcoming them 3-2 to lift the second World Cup in their history. A moment that crowned Maradona as one of the greatest players of all-time. 


Four years later, in Italy, the two met in the final yet again giving West Germany a chance to get revenge over Maradona and Argentina almost immediately. The final proved to be one of the most boring games of the tournament with Argentina producing only one shot on goal and becoming in the process the first team in history not score in a World Cup final. It appeared clear that the Albiceleste played with the intention of going to penalties. Ironically, the only goal of the contest arrived in the 85th minute when Mexican referee Edgardo Codesal awarded a controversial penalty to West Germany. Roberto Sensini was adjudged to have fouled Rudi Voller, and Andreas Brehme converted the resulting spot-kick. It ended 1-0 with West Germany lifting their third World Cup and getting revenge over their rivals for the 1986 loss. 


1990 is the last time Argentina played a World Cup final, a 24 year absence, during which their fans and players have suffered. Now, thanks largely to the leadership of Javier Mascherano, the Albiceleste are back in the final. Not only are they back but they have the luxury of playing the final in their arch rivals and neighbours backyard, the legendary Maracana. On top of that, Argentina face Germany once again, for third time in their last three finals. The country and the team will be looking to get revenge for the 1990 defeat, which the majority of the nation feel was an injustice given the controversial penalty. The stage seems perfectly set for Argentina to put and end to 24 years of pain and suffering. However, in order to do so, they will need to get past a German team on a mission. 


Germany has been chasing their fourth victory since 1990 and have suffered a final defeat in 2002 at the hands of Brazil and the heartbreak of losing the semi-final at home to Italy in 2006. In fact, 2014 proved to be Germany's fourth consecutive semi-final, an impressive achievement to say the least but now the time has come for this group of players to bring a trophy home and ensure that all the hard work done by the nation and the German football federation in the past 12 years doesn't go to waste. Despite beating Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final, it is hard to say who is favourite going into the final, in fact Sunday's clash could prove to be a tight affair, considering how solid Argentina have been throughout the tournament in defence. 


No matter what the final outcome is, one thing is certain, the World Cup in Brazil has proved to be a spectacular tournament that has been full of wonderful matches, a number of surprises and has conveyed huge emotion to football fans around the globe. The tournament is special because it only happens once every four years, but at times one wishes football could always be so special. 
#Television #Worldcup 2014