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The Albiceleste forward is elated with his team's semi-final victory over Netherlands, while Javier Mascherano looks forward to a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" at the Maracana

Argentina forward Sergio Aguero cannot wait to meet Germany in the World Cup final at the Maracana on Sunday and says that Joachim Low's side respect his.

The Manchester City striker missed the Albiceleste's victories over Switzerland and Belgium after limping out of their final group game against Nigeria with a muscle injury.

But he returned as a late-second-half substitute on Wednesday as Argentina beat Netherlands 4-2 on penalties to book a place in showdown with Germany and the 26-year-old is ready to put his injury woes behind him for what he describes as a "dream" World Cup final.

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"The truth is incredible. I am so happy, we cannot believe it," Aguero told the press. "I suffered from a mini tear but I have done everything possible to recover. Luckily we are in the final."

Joachim Low's side thrashed Brazil 7-1 on Tuesday in a staggering match but the Argentina star does not believe that Germany will be overconfident heading into the final.

"Germany are always a tough team at the World Cup but we will continue to play our game," he added. "Argentina is Argentina. Germany also have a bit of respect for us."

Javier Mascherano also spoke of his pride at making it to the final, labelling his team's achievement "brilliant", and knows that it is a chance that may well only come once.

"We played a brilliant game, without any fear of anything," enthused the Barcelona man.

"We came into the game of our lives and now we will enjoy it because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"Hopefully we will be crowned champions on Sunday but, regardless of the outcome, I have no words to express how proud I am ... the goal was to be in the final."

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