Germany vs Argentina World Cup final 2014: Sergio Romero draws inspiration from Diego Maradona's 1986 side as Argentina look to land third World Cup crown

Romero was the hero in the penalty shootout and he believes the current side can emulate what Maradona and Co achieved 28 years ago

Argentina's players are summoning inspiration from their heroes of the past as they prepare for their country's most important match for a generation.

LIVE: Germany vs Brazil World Cup 2014 final latest

Sergio Romero, the Monaco keeper who was the hero of the hour in the penalty shoot-out against Holland in the semi-final, says the team is determined to join those who made history in 1978 and 1986.

It is 24 years since Argentina last made the final, where they were beaten 1-0 by West Germany in tense and dull affair. The shirts will be the same colours again in the Maracana on Sunday: Argentina in navy blue, Germany in white.

For Romero, however, the chance to join the icons of the Diego Maradona-inspired team of 1986, of that which triumphed on home soil eight years before, is driving this generation of players on, even if free-scoring Germany are the favourites.

Romero said: "The most important thing is that our team and our country provide the best image in the eyes of the world, that the world will speak well of Argentina.

 

"We will remember what the champions of 1978 and 1986 achieved but by we will also try to achieve glory by the fight and heart of this team," he said in Argentina newspaper Clarin.

"Maybe for many people it is not the dream final, because they wanted us to play Brazil, but it will be a fantastic game.

"They will be very tough opponents, they scored seven goals in the semi-final and they did not have to go to extra time so they have been able to save some energy for the final."

Romero saved two spot-kicks, from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder, to see Argentina through after the match ended 0-0 after extra-time.

Read more: Messi has chance to join the great Maradona
Win of lose, Sabella set to call it a day after final
Will the Germans have an advantage after extra days' rest

The keeper said minds have now been re-focused after euphoria following the match, where clips emerged from the dressing room of the squad singing their fans' anthem 'Brasil decime que se siente' - 'Brazil tell me how it feels' - to the tune of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Bad Moon Rising.

"The boys enjoyed it, everyone was shouting and singing in the dressing room, but from the next morning we set our minds on what was coming and how hard it will be to face Germany," he said.

Germany have accounted for Argentina in the last two World Cups, winning the semi-finals in 2006 on penalties and trouncing the South Americans 4-0 in 2010.

Maxi Rodriguez is the only survivor from the 2006 team and he admitted he is desperate to avenge those defeats.

Rodriguez celebrates with Pablo Zabaleta after the semi-final Rodriguez celebrates with Pablo Zabaleta after the semi-final Rodriguez, one of only two outfield players in the Argentina squad to play his club football in the country's domestic league, said: "You bet. Since they knocked us out on the last two occasions, I can't deny that I'm out for payback.

"The first time was more painful because it was on penalties. In South Africa it was different, because we hardly got into the game. But now it's a final, the most important match we're going to play. Of course I want revenge."

Coach Alejandro Sabella's biggest dilemma is over whether to pick Angel di Maria, who is struggling with a torn thigh muscle.

Di Maria has been undergoing stem cell injections to try to speed his recovery and his father was quoted by Clarin as saying the Real Madrid winger is desperate to play even if he has not completely recovered.

Miguel di Maria said: "He has been making short sprints, doing everything ... and he's confident he will make it. I also think he will play in the final, even if it is just for a few minutes."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Kim Sears is reported to have directed abuse at Berdych
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballI have never seen the point of lambasting the fourth official, writes Paul Scholes
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee