Belo Horizonte: Argentina must avoid the errors committed against Germany in the previous World Cup if they are to conquer their European rivals in the final this time round, stressed striker Sergio Aguero.
The two nations have a long history of battle. Argentina last won the World Cup by beating Germany 3-2 in 1986, while Germany’s last Cup triumph came through a 1-0 win over La Albiceleste in the final of 1990. Furthermore, Germany knocked out Argentina at the quarter-final stage of the last two World Cups, inflicting a 4-0 humiliation over the two-time champions in South Africa four years ago.
“In this final, we are going to try and avoid the mistakes of the last World Cup,” said Aguero. “With the first dead-ball, they scored and that ruined our plans,” he recalled.
The Manchester City forward, who appears to have fully recovered from injury for Sunday’s final in Rio de Janeiro, praised Germany’s strengths, but reminded that Argentina would not change their attack-minded style of play.
“The games from the last 16 to the semis were different. Now we face a great rival in Germany. We’re going to stick to our game, fixing some mistakes we made in the other matches. Underdog tag will help us, though,” he said.
“We know Germany have players who have been together for some years and play really well.”
Aguero came on as a late substitute for the penalty shoot-out win against the Netherlands but will be hoping for a start on Sunday at the Maracana.
“When you come back from an injury, it is always on the back of your mind whether it will resurface. I had to train and try to be as good as possible.
“When you miss three games, especially in a World Cup, you realise what you are missing. If I do get called up to play (in the final) I will try to find the energy from every possible sources to perform for my side,” he emphasised.
According to Aguero, all that matters is Argentina’s victory in the final and whether they play well or not is absolutely immaterial. “We have to win and it doesn’t matter if we play well or not.
“There will be no pressure on us. We need to play our own game,” he made it clear.
“If you play well and control the ball, it helps you to be calmer. This is the game we have all wanted to play since we left Buenos Aires, and especially against an aggressive and tough opponent.”
Talking about rivals Germany, Aguero feels the 7-1 annihilation could happen to any team and not just Brazil, considering the might of Joachim Loew’s team.
“Germany are a great team. What happened to Brazil could happen to any team,” he said, adding: “But the Germans also have reason to be concerned, knowing that we have players who can create danger up front. We’re in the final for a reason.”
Midfielder Maxi Rodriguez, meanwhile, minces no words to say it will be a battle of nerves in Sunday’s final. “At this point, who is favourite and who is not, doesn’t make a difference,” Rodriguez said.
“Both teams feel a responsibility to go all the way. We’re going to play our part to make it.”
Argentina winger Angel Di Maria trained lightly on Thursday in the hope of being able to play a part in the final despite suffering a thigh injury just days ago.
The speedy Real Madrid player, who links well with Messi in Argentina’s attack, jogged lightly in his first training since the injury.
“I will do everything I can to be fit for Sunday. I hope to play in the final,” Di Maria said. (AGENCIES)