Argentina, Germany start final tuning, Suarez loses appeal

Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:36pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Argentina and Germany were both back at work on Thursday, secretly hatching plans for Sunday's World Cup final as Uruguay striker Luis Suarez lost his appeal against his ban for biting.

While their contrasting styles promise a classic battle between Europe and South America, Argentina and Germany have plenty to think about as they put the finishing touches to their preparations.

Lionel Messi and his Argentina team mates had a light workout after they returned to their base camp in Belo Horizonte after Wednesday's dramatic penalty shootout win over the Netherlands.

Argentina winger Angel Di Maria joined the training session in the hope of being able to play in the final despite suffering a thigh injury just days ago.

Di Maria, the South Americans' most creative player after Messi, hurt a muscle when shooting at goal during the quarter-final win over Belgium.

He jogged lightly but is still racing against the clock to be ready, although striker Sergio Aguero's full recovery from a muscle strain has given Argentina a boost.

"We have to win and it doesn't matter if we play well or not," Aguero said.

"This is the game we have all wanted to play since we left Buenos Aires, and against an aggressive and tough opponent."   Continued...

Argentina's national soccer team coach Alejandro Sabella (R) gestures as he talks to players during a training session ahead of their 2014 World Cup final match against Germany in Vespasiano, July 10, 2014.  REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci