2014 World Cup: Lionel Messi vs. the Machine

By Collin Ruby
Getty Images
Getty Images

After the second semi-final match between Argentina and the Netherlands, Argentina has advanced to play Germany in the World Cup final. If you were to ask me before the beginning of the World Cup who would be in the final, I would have said Germany and the Netherlands, but my prediction was off.

I would have never thought Argentina would have survived this far into the tournament due to their lack of strength at defense. But, I am a man that knows when he’s wrong. Argentina has completely surprised me and probably many other soccer critics.

Argentina beat the Netherlands despite being without Angel Di Maria on the wing. Di Maria will probably be back against Germany, which will definitely aid Lionel Messi with advancing up the field and moving the ball out wide. Both Messi and Di Maria will need to be in top form to get through Germany’s strong and massive defense. Joachim Low made a very effective decision by placing Philipp Lahm on the right back. This gives Germany quickness on the wings and strength in the middle. This strategy has proven to be successful as it allowed the ball to be kept in the middle in an attacking manner.

In the match against Brazil, Germany proved to be unstoppable and machine-like. Producing seven goals against the tournament favorites is nothing to scoff at; Germany will look to make a repeat performance. All we can do is wait and see what happens.

Lastly, Messi will be looking to capture his first World Cup title. A lot of pressure will be placed on Argentina, and until Messi wins the title, he will continue to be compared to Diego Maradona, which is an absolute travesty. Messi and Maradona are not the same person. Messi is soft-spoken and humble, while Maradona is candid and extravagant.

Regardless, the World Cup final will prove to be a very interesting game and will be much closer than the semi-finals match between Germany and Brazil.

Collin Ruby is a soccer writer for RantSports.com, follow him on Twitter @Collin_Ruby

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