Argentina will be stronger against Germany than Brazil claims Zabaleta
Pablo Zabaleta believes his team’s mental toughness should see them go close in the 2014 World Cup final
July 13th, 2014
The well-oiled machine that is the Germany team clash with Argentina this evening, with La Albiceleste trying to stop a side that scored seven times against host nation Brazil.
The fact that the Netherlands put three past Phil Scolari’s team in the third-place play-off means that the 7-1 scoreline doesn’t look quite so impressive and Pablo Zabaleta is looking forward to tackling the Germans.
The Manchester City ace believes that Argentina won’t buckle even if they concede an early goal against Germany, with the team capable of staying calm and they come into the final after keeping clean sheets against Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
“Even if you concede some goals before 15 minutes or 20 minutes you need to keep calm and keep playing in the same way as we have been doing for these six games,” said Zabaleta.
“A football game is just about 90 minutes. If you concede some goals and you try to score as soon as possible, you concede space at the back and you are finished. It was a lesson for us, the Brazil game.”
Zabaleta reserved special praise for Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano, with the Barcelona pair critical to the success of the team.
“He (Messi) is our main player, he is the captain of this team, he is the leader of this group of players,” he said. “We can imagine how special it would be for Messi to lift the cup. We need to keep our feet on the ground at the moment.
“You also need a player like Mascherano with his commitment, his leadership. He’s always thinking about the group,” said Zabaleta. “If he sees someone who is tired he is there to help you. I have no words to describe how good Mascherano has been for this team in this World Cup.”