Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella believes a well-rested Germany will have the advantage against the weary South Americans in Sunday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final.
Sabella’s players advanced to the Maracana showpiece in a gruelling extra-time and penalty shoot-out battle with the Netherlands that the Argentina coach described as like a “war.”
The fact that Germany have had an extra day’s rest and effectively had their 7-1 win over Brazil wrapped up inside half an hour could be crucial, Sabella said.
“Some of our players are sore, beaten, tired – the results of a war, so to speak,” said Sabella. “We have a final to play, with one day less to prepare and against a team like Germany, but with work, humility and seriousness, we’ll do all we can to make it all the way to the top.
Sabella spoke admiringly of German football, saying they often produced players with a “South American touch.”
“Germany throughout their entire history have always shown physical might, tactical, mental prowess, and have always had players with a certain South American touch,” he said.
“The match is extremely difficult and I repeat the fact they haven’t played extra time and we’ve played two, and played one day after Germany. Germany is always a very difficult hurdle to overcome.
“We’ll see if it’s a minor issue, the fact we played after and the Germany game was decided in the first 45 minutes, so they could ease off in the second half, whereas we had to spend all the effort, and every last drop of sweat to reach the World Cup final.”
Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero repelled penalties from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder in the penalty shoot-out after a cagey stalemate finished 0-0 following extra time at the Corinthians Arena.
Argentina, chasing their third World Cup title, last reached the final in Italy in 1990, when they lost 1-0 to West Germany.
Sabella meanwhile praised defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano, who pulled off a sensational block to deny Arjen Robben.
“Mascherano is a symbol, an emblem. We were able to move onto the semi-finals and he took this huge weight of his shoulders,” Sabella said. “He’s an outstanding player. Other clubs wanted to take him.
“I don’t need to make any other comments. (Pep) Guardiola, (Rafa) Benitez, these coaches wanted to take him with them. He’s an emblem for the national squad on the field of play and off it.”