It's a big day in the world of soccer, with the 2014 World Cup tournament coming to a close with Germany taking on Argentina. The German team has turned in some truly dominant performances against the likes of Portugal and Brasil, while Argentina has arguably the best player in the world in Messi.
Columbia's James Rodriguez currently leads the Golden Boot standings, but Thomas Muller could catch him with a goal today and Lionel Messi could catch him with a brace. Still, Mario Goetze is starting to take on wunderkind status with his play for Germany this World Cup. His pass completion rate is outstanding, and he's dominating the center of the pitch.
The Maracana will see strong Argentine support today, with many locals taking holiday to make the trip into Brasil and support their team.
This is Germany's eight World Cup final, more than any other nation. Miroslav Klose is the only player on either team with World Cup final experience, the veteran playing in the 2002 final against Brasil. Klose has scored three of his sixteen World Cup goals against Argentina, Saudi Arabia the only other team he's scored that many on.
What Germany will want to limit is Messi's ability to find space and his teammates. Teams have been man-marking Messi, but that has the side effect of giving Messi space to turn into. He's made this move sixty-five times in this tournament, successful in thirty-nine of them. When he turns into space he has passing lanes to find his teammates; twenty-one times his passes have led to scoring opportunities. That's the most key passes of any player in the tournament.
Kickoff is at noon on ABC.