Germany not expecting any more Argentine gifts
By Brian Homewood
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Germany have been given a helping hand by opponents Argentina in beating them at the last two World Cups but they do not expect any more South American gifts in Sunday's final at the Maracana.
Their 2006 quarter-final win came after Argentina took a second-half lead but then replaced playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme with the more defensive Esteban Cambiasso while Lionel Messi was kept on the bench.
Germany seized the initiative, drew level and then won on penalties amid huge criticism of Argentina coach Jose Pekerman.
Four years ago, Germany took advantage of Diego Maradona's coaching naivety and cavalier approach as they tore the Argentineans apart 4-0 again in the last eight.
Germany coach Joachim Loew and his opposite number Alejandro Sabella agree that Argentina have progressed since then.
"Our team is more conservative than four years ago, we are looking to triumph via a different path," Sabella told reporters on Saturday. "The teams are different although most of the players are the same.
"We'll give our all as always, with sacrifice, humility, hard work, being down to earth, giving before receiving, protecting one another, so that Argentina can be a champion again. We will do our best. More than that we cannot do."