(Reuters) - After Germany's stunning demolition of hosts Brazil on Tuesday, Lionel Messi's Argentina will seek to join the Europeans in the final when they take on 2010 runners-up the Netherlands in Sao Paulo later on Wednesday.
Four-times World Player of the Year Messi has scored four goals en route to the last four and after Brazil's exit Argentine will be greedily eyeing a possible clash with the Germans at the legendary Maracana stadium on Sunday.
The Dutch began their campaign with a 5-1 drubbing of holders Spain and will be looking to their talisman Arjen Robben, who has three goals at the finals, to help break down a well-drilled Argentine defence.
After their blistering start, Louis van Gaal's side have cut it fine on the way to the semi-finals and needed a penalty shootout to get past Costa Rica in the last eight having only beaten Mexico by a controversial last-minute penalty in the previous round.
Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Nigel Hunt