Germany vs Argentina World Cup final 2014: Will the Germans have an advantage because of the extra day's rest?

Will the extra day off really make a difference? We're not quite sure...

After the Germans razed Brazil’s football foundations to the ground on Tuesday evening, crushing the overmatched and overemotional hosts 7-1, they could sit back and watch with something approaching glee as Argentina and the Netherlands tore lumps out of each other for 120 minutes.

Read more: Lionel Messi watches and waits for final chance to be a legend like El Diego
Philipp Lahm banks on German experience

The Argentinians, of course, eventually progressed through to the final by a penalty shootout that was as bruising on the nerves as the previous two hours had been on the legs.

But does that necessarily mean that their opponents will have a physical advantage in the Maracana on Sunday night? A glance at history suggests yes and no…

The World Cup has alternated through its history between the semi-final and second group stage formats. Often, those semis have occurred on the same day, though since 1990 this has only once been the case, at USA 94.

The 1966 World Cup was the first to feature semi-finals played on different days. West Germany faced the Soviet Union on 25 July 1966, followed by England’s game against Portugal a day later. The extra 24 hours’ rest did the Germans no good, however- Alf Ramsay’s side famously triumphed 4-2 in extra time. Perhaps home advantage and the raucous atmosphere inside the old Wembley negated the added freshness in the German legs.

The World Cup semi-finals were not held on different days again until Italia 90. There, both the Argentines and West Germans were forced to play on into extra-time with the Argentines’ contest against Italy coming a day earlier, on 3 July.

It didn’t help them, however- West Germany won the final 1-0. The Argentines were hampered not by fatigue but by the combined effects of suspension and injury- perhaps these are more important factors than the extra day’s rest a team may receive.

In 1998, Brazil concluded their semi-final against the Dutch a day before the French progressed by beating Croatia. However, the Brazilians required extra-time in order to despatch Bergkamp, De Boer and co, whilst the French needed only regulation time. In addition, the Brazilians were thrown into turmoil minutes before the final by the mysterious saga of Ronaldo, who should never have started the game.

Again, it seems, many more factors than fatigue can affect a team’s performance in a World Cup final.

In 2002, the team with the earlier semi-final were again defeated when it came to the main event. Germany bested South Korea 1-0 on 25 June, and Brazil defeated Turkey by the same scoreline a day later. But that single day’s discrepancy was not enough to make up for the difference in quality between the Brazil of Rivaldo, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho and one of the poorest sides ever to reach a World Cup final. Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli will take charge of the World Cup final between Argentina and Germany Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli will take charge of Sunday's final

In 2006, the team granted an added 24 hours’ recuperation finally prevailed. Italy played their semi-final exactly a day before France, and went on to beat the French on penalties in the final. But given that they only emerged victorious after another 120 minutes of football- and via the lottery of penalties, too- perhaps the French weren’t unduly affected by lacking a day of recovery.

In 2010, the familiar pattern was resumed. Spain played their semi-final a day later than the Netherlands and went on to beat them 1-0 in the final courtesy of Andres Iniesta’s extra-time strike. The Spanish may well have been in better shape come the final- but the gap in technical quality between the two sides can hardly have hurt their chances.

An extra day's recuperation surely cannot hurt a team- but as this potted history shows, it's probably much less of a help than it might seem. If Germany do the expected and beat Argentina on Sunday night, it will be more down to the gulf in ability and nous between the two teams- and far less due to the Germans' fresher legs.

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
newsFloyd 'Creeky' Creekmore still performed regularly to raise money for local hospitals
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?