Germany vs. Argentina: A Great World Cup Rivalry


Brazil-Argentina and Germany-Netherlands may be the fiercest rivalries in international soccer. But Germany and Argentina still have quite the conjoined history, arguably more than either  of the other two in the World Cup. This is the third time the two countries will meet in the World Cup Final, a record. It will be the fifth time in eight tournaments Argentina’s World Cup run has ended with Germany, positively or negatively.

1958 World Cup Group Stage: The West Germans were defending champions. The Argentines were playing in their first World Cup since 1934. The teams met in the first round of the group stage. Argentina had to wear yellow IFK Malmo shirts, as they forgot their alternate uniforms. Argentina took the lead on a goal from Omar Carbatta in the third minute, but West Germany stormed back to win 3-1. The Argentines finished bottom of the group. West Germany lost to host Sweden in the semifinal.

1966 World Cup Group Stage: West Germany and Argentina were drawn together again. The teams played to a scintillating 0-0 draw at Villa Park. Argentina was dispatched 1-0 in the quarterfinals by host England. West Germany lost to England as well, in the final which went to extra time.

1986 World Cup Final: West Germany and Argentina met in the 1986 Final at Azteca. Rudy Völler scored in the 80th minute to equalize 2-2. Diego Maradona then set up Jorge Burruchaga for a third goal in the 84th minute. Argentina won 3-2, their second triumph in three tournaments. Maradona became Maradona.

1990 World Cup Final: The rematch. Argentina won two of its seven matches, scored five goals and reached the final after dispatching Yugoslavia and host Italy on penalties. A more prolific West German team did the same, after sending England home on penalties. The final was a fitting climax to what has been acknowledged to be the most boring World Cup of all-time (Roger Milla excepted). The Germans won 1-0, on a penalty in the 85th minute, to win their third World Cup.

2006 World Cup Quarterfinal: Germany hosted the tournament. Argentina, who made our 10 Best Teams Never to Reach a World Cup Final list, looked like the best team for much of it. Miroslav Klose scored in the 80th minute to even the score at 1-1 in Berlin. With German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann consulting a crib sheet tucked in his sock, Die Mannschaft beat the Argentines 4-2 on penalties to advance to the semifinals, where they lost to Italy. Punches were thrown during a post-match melee.

2010 World Cup Quarterfinal: The day the myth of Maradona the manager died. Argentina drew a soft group containing South Korea, Greece and Nigeria. They played a relatively benign Mexico in the Round of 16. Finally coming up against formidable opposition in Germany, the Argentines received a cold slap to the face. Thomas Müller scored in the third minute. A three-goal barrage in the second half put the match out of reach. The young Germans lost to Spain in the semis. Argentina reconstructed their team around this Messi fellow.