Two of the most successful sides in international football face off tonight as Germany entertain Argentina in Dortmund.
It may just be a friendly, but it promises to be a high quality game and you can listen to full commentary of it LIVE on talkSPORT 2, kick-off 7:45pm.
Both nations have thrived on the international stage over the years with Germany winning four World Cups and three European Championships, while Argentina have been world champions twice and have won a staggering 14 South American Championship/Copa America titles.
Germany and Argentina actually faced each other in the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil – a match Joachim Low’s men won 1-0 after extra-time.
So ahead of tonight’s clash this got us thinking about the players who featured in the showpiece match and what they’re doing now.
You could make a case for Neuer being the player of that tournament as he made even the most difficult of saves look so easy.
He’s still Germany’s No.1, just, and is still at Bayern Munich, who are the dominant force in German football.
Shortly after winning the World Cup, Lahm announced his retirement from international football, aged 30.
The former defender continued to play at Bayern for another three years before hanging up his boots. Since then, he was named an honorary ambassador for Germany’s bid to host Euro 2024, which they won.
The Bayern Munich centre-back played a part in the national team’s Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup campaigns but was told by Low earlier this year that he has no future with the national squad along with Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller.
Since winning the World Cup, Boateng has won the Bundesliga five times and the DFB-Pokal (German FA Cup) twice.
Boateng’s partner at centre-back was playing for Borussia Dortmund when Germany won the World Cup.
However, he finally gave into the temptation and moved to Bavaria in 2016, spending three years with Bayern. He moved back to Dortmund in the summer but is unlikely to play for Germany again.
Left-back Howedes was guilty of missing a sitter in the World Cup final, his header from a corner striking the post from six yards out.
The former Schalke man is now at Lokomotiv Moscow having gone there in the summer of 2018 via an unsuccessful loan spell at Juventus.
After Sami Khedira picked up an injury in the warm-up, midfielder Kramer was given the nod by Low to play in the huge match.
He was on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach from Bayer Leverkusen at the time but made that move permanent in 2016. The World Cup is the only trophy the 28-year-old has won in his career.
The World Cup was arguably Schweinsteiger’s last big achievement in football as a year later he moved to Manchester United where he struggled to replicate the same form he showed at Bayern for many years.
In 2017, he pursued a new adventure in Major League Soccer with Chicago Fire before announcing his retirement from the game earlier this week.
Following his brilliant World Cup, Kroos got a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid and is still there now.
Real are going through a difficult patch at the moment but Kroos has still won three Champions Leagues and a LaLiga title. He was in the Germany squads in Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.
Germany and Ozil experienced a love-hate relationship over the years. In 2014 and beforehand, everyone loved him.
However, following a poor performance at the last World Cup, Ozil announced his retirement from international football, citing being the victim of racist abuse following the team’s bad performances.
He has struggled to nail down a first-team spot at Arsenal since Unai took charge and Ozil has even not been included in the matchday squad at points this season despite not carrying an injury.
He may have reached 100 caps for Germany by the age of 29, but Muller was one of the players to be told that his time on the international scene is up.
Muller has not been starting regularly for Bayern this season either and at 30-years-old you get the sense his career is slightly winding down but he’s still achieved a huge amount.
Germany’s record goalscorer hung up his international boots after the 2014 World Cup, having also broken the record for most goals in World Cup finals during their 7-1 demolition of host nation Brazil in the semi-finals.
Klose carried on playing for Lazio for two more years before retiring from his playing days completely. He is now the manager of Bayern’s Under-17 side.
Sub – Andre Schurrle
A first half substitute for Kramer, Schurrle got an unexpected introduction into the final and although he was at Chelsea at the time, his career has somewhat drifted since.
Spells at Wolfsburg and Dortmund didn’t help him get a place in the 2018 World Cup squad and Schurrle then came back to England with Fulham, who were relegated from the Premier League last season. He’s now at Spartak Moscow on loan from Dortmund.
Sub – Mario Gotze
When you score a winning goal in a World Cup final, realistically, the only way you can go is down.
And this has happened to Gotze with injury and illness stunting his progress, meaning he’s struggled to cement his place in the national side again.
Gotze re-joined Dortmund in 2016 after being a bit-part player at Bayern for three years.
Sub – Per Mertesacker
He may have come on in the final minute of extra-time but Mertesacker can say he has played in a World Cup final!
He announced his retirement from international football a month afterwards and continued playing for Arsenal until 2018. He is currently manager of the Arsenal Academy and sometimes works as a pundit on German TV.
LIVE on talkSPORT
Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week…
- Germany vs Argentina (Wednesday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Russia vs Scotland (Thursday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Czech Republic vs England (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT
- Coventry vs Tranmere (Sunday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2
He may have almost a century of Argentina caps to his name but he certainly has to wait for his moments at Manchester United.
Romero has been David de Gea’s understudy at Old Trafford since joining in 2015. The 32-year-old’s deal runs out in 2021.
Aged 34, Zabaleta is still available for club and country, although he hasn’t played for Argentina since November 2016.
He moved to West Ham from Manchester City in 2017 but has had to play second fiddle to Ryan Fredericks this season and Zabaleta’s contract at the London Stadium expires at the end of the campaign.
Like Zabaleta, Demichelis was another Manchester City player to feature in the 2014 World Cup final.
The centre-back left City in 2016 to join Espanyol before moving to Malaga in January 2017. He announced his retirement from football four months later.
The centre-back signed for Russian club Zenit St Petersburg during the tournament so would have been excited about the new challenge that was awaiting him after the World Cup final.
He won three trophies with Zenit before moving to Valencia in 2016 – the highlight so far being winning the Copa del Rey in 2018/19.
Another player to get a move to Old Trafford shortly after the World Cup final was Rojo.
But like Romero, Rojo has struggled to become a first-team regular. The 29-year-old is contracted at United until 2021 but still gets called up for the national side regularly.
The midfielder has had a decent club career and currently plies his trade with AC Milan.
Biglia no longer plays for Argentina after announcing his retirement from international football following their exit from the 2018 World Cup at the hands of eventual winners France.
Ex-Liverpool and Barcelona man Mascherano also took it upon himself to retire from international duty after the 2018 World Cup.
Mascherano, 35, still plays club football with Chinese Super League club Hebei China Fortune, whom he joined in 2018.
Who? The midfielder is something of a forgotten man from the 2014 World Cup final but played nonetheless.
Perez played for Benfica at the time before moving to River Plate in his homeland in 2017 which is where he is now.
Mascherano joined former Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain hotshot Lavezzi at Hebei China Fortune, with Lavezzi moving there in 2016.
Lavezzi found himself in hot water in May 2017 after doing a slant-eyed pose in promotional pictures for the Chinese club but is still there. He hasn’t retired from international duty but the last time he received a call-up was in March 2017.
Well, what more can you say about this man? A World Cup and Copa America may have eluded him so far, but Messi is still one of the game’s true greats.
Since 2014, Messi has become captain of Barcelona and won a bucket load of honours, including four LaLiga titles, a Champions League and a Ballon d’Or.
He initially announced his retirement from international duty after losing the Copa America final in 2016 but retracted his decision shortly afterwards.
He’s similar to Ozil in the sense that a lot of fans of his national team didn’t really take to him and Higuain decided he had had enough in March 2019.
The striker, who’s currently at Juventus, said when announcing his retirement from international football that “it will probably make many people happy”.
Sub – Sergio Aguero
Such was Argentina’s attacking talent, the likes of Aguero couldn’t hold down a regular starting spot and it’s crazy to think he was a substitute in the final.
The Manchester City striker started most of Argentina’s matches at the Copa America in the summer, where they were eliminated in the semi-finals by host nation and eventual winners Brazil.
Sub – Rodrigo Palacio
He’s a decent player but unfortunately Palacio may be remembered for his God-awful ponytail on the back of his head!
The forward was at Inter Milan at the time of the final but now plays for Bologna.
Sub – Fernando Gago
The midfielder came on for Perez in the 86th minute and didn’t do much in the game.
Former Real Madrid man Gago retired from international duty in 2017 and is now playing for Argentine club Velez Sarsfield.