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The former Spain striker thinks Die Mannschaft must be considered the likely winners against Argentina on Sunday, believing their lack of dependence on individuals is key

Spain legend Raul has backed Germany to overcome Argentina in Sunday's World Cup final, adding that the Europeans have "broken tradition" by becoming overwhelming favourites.

Joachim Low's side have looked in formidable form throughout the competition, most recently thumping Brazil 7-1 in the semi-finals last Tuesday.

And Raul says the overall quality of the Germans means they will likely defeat the Albiceleste, especially since they are not reliant on any one man - as in the case of Argentina and Lionel Messi.

"Normally, World Cup finals do not have clear favourites," the 37-year-old wrote in his column for the Times of India.

"This tradition has been broken in Brazil. Germany are the team to watch after their demolition of the hosts in the semi-final. They have waited for a long time for this and appear to be the best-prepared lot.

"The three-time champions are not dependent on individuals. Everybody in their midfield is capable of scoring. The defence is not impregnable but tight, and has conceded only four goals in six matches. [Manuel] Neuer has been an inspiration under the bar.

"For such an all-round team, it's difficult to lose momentum after a landmark win. Joachim Low's side knows when and how to peak. They started with a bang, went back to their normal style of winning industriously, and when they faced better teams, came at them hard."

Raul, who played in three World Cups for Spain between 1998 and 2006, also criticised Argentina for being dependent on Messi, stressing that other players will need to step up if they are to lift the trophy.

"Argentina are clearly dependent on Messi," the Real Madrid great added.

"After four straight Man-of-the-Match performances, he has been subdued in the last two outings. Knockout games are expected to be tougher and he has not enjoyed the freedom he got in the group stage.

"There is no doubt that Argentina need Messi at his best. They have worries up front with [Sergio] Aguero not fully fit and [Gonzalo] Higuain out of touch.

"The performance of [Javier] Mascherano will be as crucial. He was undoubtedly the best player in the semi-final and it was because of him that Argentina managed to keep a strong Dutch attack quiet."

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