Argentina will seek revenge against Germany

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Argentina will seek revenge against Germany

Germany and Argentina have dazzled South Africa with attacking verve, raising expectations of a classic quarter-final encounter in Cape Town.


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Published: Sat 3 Jul 2010, 9:48 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:07 AM

The South Americans seek revenge for their defeat at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The Germans, playing in front of a partisan home crowd, beat Argentina on penalties in the quarter-final four years ago. An unseemly brawl between the players ended the game on a sour note, but it is the pain of defeat that lingers in the Argentinian consciousness.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, who was still just a promising youngster yet to blossom into the footballing genius he is today, could only watch from the bench as his team lost that day. Now the 23-year-old has an eye on redressing the balance.

”This time I have the chance to play ... and hopefully make things right,” Messi told the German Press Agency dpa.

German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger also has bad memories of the match, and may have set the stage for another explosive encounter with inflammatory remarks.

”We mustn’t let ourselves be influenced by their provocations,” the Bayern Munich man said. “It shows a lack of respect, but that’s the way the Argentinians are. I hope the referee has a good day.”

However, the neutrals are less concerned with history and more with the tantalising prospect of two attacking sides going for the jugular in Green Point stadium.

While many teams have relied on solid defending to the detriment of the spectacle in South Africa, Germany and Argentina have shown that negativity is not the only way to win games.

Argentina, with Messi backed up by the deadly Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Tevez, have scored 10 goals - handing out a 4-1 spanking to South Korea in the process.

The young German side - with an average age of 25 - boasts fewer star names, but was hugely impressive when trouncing Australia 4-0 in the group stages and England 4-1 in the Round of 16.

But a 0-1 loss to Serbia and a narrow 1-0 win over Ghana showed that the callow youths don’t always fire on all cylinders.

And, with no disrespect to the two teams Germany saw off with ease, Argentina represents a significant step-up in quality.

German coach Joachim Loew is well aware of this.

”Argentina have a lot of strengths and it is not easy to recognize weaknesses,” he said. “They are one of the big favourites, if not the favourite, for the title.”

However, Loew believes he has identified areas of the Argentine team that players such as the excellent Thomas Mueller, 20, can exploit - although of course he has no intention of sharing this information before the game.

Loew’s thoughtful approach to the game is in stark contrast to the fiery Diego Maradona - a man whose past achievements need no introduction.

Maradona’s side struggled to qualify, but since reaching the big stage they have played their opponents off the park.

His passion and apparently genuine love for his players will be a big motivating factor for the Argentina side - as will his experience of inspiring the South Americans to a 1986 final victory over then-West Germany at the peak of his playing career.

But Germany have an even-more outlandish character than the wise-cracking Maradona in their corner.

Paul the octopus, who resides in Aquarium Sea Life in the German town of Oberhausen, has correctly predicted the results of Germany’s four games so far. The aquatic psychic has now plumped for German victory in the quarter-final.

If his prediction proves correct, then it will be Germany who deny Argentina their vengeance and advance to a semi-final showdown with Spain or Paraguay in Durban next Wednesday.

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