World Cup final 2014: Will the greatest World Cup ever have a fitting end when Germany meet Argentina? History suggests not...

The World Cup final is considered the grandest stage of them all, but does it have a history of failing to live up to expectations?

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The Independent Football

Argentina needed a penalty shootout to battle past the Netherlands and earn their chance to win a third World Cup final, when they will face Germany on Sunday at the historical Maracana.

In the 18 World Cup final in the past, only one has ended as a goalless draw and required penalties to decide the champions of the world, when Brazil defeated Italy in 1994. The final match of the World Cup has a history of producing goals, although on more than one occasion the result has been a very one-sided affair.

It wasn't until Argentina's defeat in 1990 that a team failed to score in the final, but the goals have since dried up in the most recent tournaments. Five of the last six finals have seen two or less goals, with France's 3-0 win over Brazil in 1998 the exception.

They often prove to be cagey and physical affairs, with teams desperate not to concede rather than produce the attacking intent that many of them show in the early stages of the World Cup - when the opposition are somewhat of a lower standard.

So what does Germany v Argentina have to live up to?

Click on the gallery below to see all of the past World Cup finals.


What is your prediction for Sunday's final? Leave your Germany v Argentina predictions in the comment box below.