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World Cup 2014

Tactical Guide to World Cup finalists, Germany & Argentina

After an enthralling month of football, the World Cup has finally reached it’s end. It was expected to disappoint like the previous edition, but what transpired in Brazil left many claiming it as possibly among the best yet. It had everything, and a little more; from Spain’s early elimination to Costa Rica’s unbelievable run, Brazil’s humiliation to Algeria’s display, James Rodriguez’ goal to Ochoa’s save, and so much more in between. The spectacle culminates into one final clash between two sides who as the fixture list suggests, deserve to be there. It’s been incredible, and Outside of the Boot have been there every step of the way with regular content for our readers. On this historical day we take a look at this memorable journey of the two finalists through our tactical lens.


Expert Interviews

Prior to the start of the World Cup, we spoke to German football expert whose work is most commonly found on, Daniel Busch, seeking his thoughts on the German national team. Daniel spoke to us about the need for midfield rotation in Brazil due to the climatic conditions, why there actually isn’t a lack of options upfront, the minimum expectations from the national team. You can read the entire interview on the Germany national team here, which in hindsight actually turned out to be pretty accurate.

Germany World Cup Interview

Along with Germany, Argentina too were the popular favourite among experts to compete for the trophy, led ofcourse by Lionel Messi. We spoke to renowned South American expert, Rupert Fryer, who is the co-founder of, editor of Goal’s Brasil Global Tour while his work can also be found on the likes of the Guardian, ESPN, Fox Soccer, the Blizzard and more. He spoke to us on Argentina’s defensive problems, why leaving Carlos Tevez (remember him?), was the right move by Alejandro Sabella and much more. Like Daniel before, Rupert too expected a minimum semi-final finish from the Argentines, both haven’t failed now have they! You can read the entire interview on the Argentina national team here, some fascinating points raised there which certainly our relevant for the final.

Argentina World Cup Interview


Tactical Previews

While it is hard to predict the possible system, formation & selection for any team, let alone those participating in a World Cup, we managed to do pretty alright with our predicted tactical set-ups while we’d have to stop short of calling it accurate. We particularly would have liked to have seen Miroslav Klose in a more prominent role, something which only occurred from the quarter-final stage. As for Argentina the dependence on Messi was expected, but the extent of it has turned out to be excessively large. Here’s our pre-tournament tactical preview of Germany and that of Argentina.

Post-Match Tactical Analysis | Germany

Detailed Tactical Analysis: Germany 4-0 Portugal Starting Line Up: Neuer, Höwedes, Hummels (Mustafi 73’), Mertesacker, Boateng, Lahm, Kroos, Khedira, Götze, Ozil (Shürrle 63′), Müller (Podolski ’82).

Detailed Tactical Analysis: Germany 2-2 Ghana Starting line up: Neuer, Höwedes, Hummels, Mertesacker, Boateng (Mustafi 45′), Lahm, Kroos, Khedira (Schweinsteiger 70′) , Götze (Klose 70′) , Ozil, Müller

Detailed Tactical Analysis: USA 0-1 Germany Starting line up: Neuer; Boateng; Mertesacker; Hummels; Howedes; Lahm; Schweinsteiger (Gotze, 76); Kroos; Podolski (Klose, 45); Muller; Ozil (Schurrle, 89).

Detail Tactical Analysis: Germany 2-1 Algeria (AET) Starting line up: Neuer; Boateng; Mertesacker; Hummels; Howedes; Lahm; Schweinsteiger (Gotze, 76); Kroos; Podolski (Klose, 45); Muller; Ozil (Schurrle, 89).

Detailed Tactical Analysis: France 0-1 Germany Starting line up: Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Hummels, Höwedes, Schweinsteiger, Khedira, Kroos (Kramer 90‘), Özil (Götze 83‘), Müller, Klose (Schürrle 69‘)

Detailed Tactical Analysis: Brazil 1-7 Germany Starting line up: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Dante, Luiz, Marcelo; Gustavo, Fernandinho (Paulinho 45’); Hulk (Ramires 45’), Oscar, Bernard; Fred (Willian 69’)

 Post Match Tactical Analysis | Argentina

Detailed Tactical Analysis: Argentina 2-1 Bosnia Starting line up: Romero, Rojo, Campagnaro (Gago 45’), Fernandez, Garay, Zabaleta, Rodriguez (Higuain 45’), Mascherano, Di Maria, Messi, Aguero (Biglia 86’)

Detailed Tactical Analysis: Argentina 1-0 Iran Starting Line Up: Romero; Zabaleta; Fernandez; Garay; Rojo; Mascherano; Gago; Di Maria (Biglia, 90); Messi; Aguero (Lavezzi, 77); Higuain (Palacio, 77)

Nigeria 2-3 Argentina Starting Line Up: Romero; Zabaleta; Fernandez; Garay; Rojo; Mascherano; Gago; Di Maria; Messi (Alvarez 63′); Aguero (Lavezzi, 38′); Higuain (Biglia 90′)

Detailed Tactical Analysis: Argentina 1-0 Switzerland Starting line up: Romero, Federico Fernandez, Zabaleta, Garay, Rojo (Basanta 105’), Gago (Biglia 105’), Mascherano, Di Maria, Higuain, Messi, Lavezzi (Palacio 74’)

Detailed Tactical Analysis: Argentina 1-0 Belgium Starting Line Up: Romero, Zabaleta, Garay, Demichelis, Basanta, Mascherano, Biglia, Di Maria, Messi, Lavezzi, Higuain

Detailed Tactical Analysis: Netherlands 0-0 Argentina (2-4 pens) Starting Line Up: Romero; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Garay, Rojo; Biglia, Mascherano; Perez ( Palacio 81′ ), Messi, Lavezzi (Rodriguez 101′ ); Higuain ( Aguero 82′ )


Group Reviews

At the end of the group stage, we had conducted brief reviews of all eight groups, paying attention to the key tactical trend, the best performance, the Talent Radar best young player, and the best XI from all the four team in each group. You can find a review of Germany’s Group G here and that of Argentina’s Group F right here


Three Key Tactical Questions

As we moved into the latter stages of the World Cup and into the quarter-finals, we had a better idea of the remaining teams giving us the chances to look ahead to each fixture in more detail. Thus, ahead of each game from the quarter-final stage, we asked three key tactical questions that could possibly go on do decide the results of the fixtures.

France vs Germany: Three Key Questions

Argentina vs Belgium: Three Key Questions

Brazil vs Germany: Three Key Questions

Netherlands vs Argentina: Three Key Questions


Statistical comparison of Key Players

Starting from the quarter-final stage, alongwith our Three Key Questions, we used Squawka’s comparison to compare the key players of each team based on pre-set parametres.

France vs Germany: Statistical Comparison

Argentina vs Belgium: Statstical Comparison

Brazil vs Germany: Statistical Comparison

Netherlands vs Argentina: Statistical Comparison


Combined XI

Added alongwith the above features from the quarter-final stage was our Combined XI as we made a team comprising of players from the two competing sides, based on their performances at this World Cup.

France vs Germany: Combined XI

Argentina vs Belgium: Combined XI

Brazil vs Germany: Combined XI

Netherlands vs Argentina: Combined XI

Essential reading on the final

Given that we’ve had extensive coverage on the previous fixtures, we have one final set of articles that we’ve prepared for your reading, so here are the Three Key Questions, Statistical Comparison and Combined XI of the two finalists of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Three Key Tactical Questions // Statistical Comparison // Combined XI

Sami Faizullah

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