By Greg Stobart at the Maracana
Germany boss Joachim Low believes it would be "mistake" to concentrate too much on the threat posed by Argentina captain Lionel Messi as he prepares for Sunday’s World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro.
The three-time champions come in to the game at the Maracana in fine form following their 7-1 demolition of Brazil in Belo Horizonte on Tuesday.
Consequently, while Low insists that Argentina have many dangerous players other than Messi, the 54-year-old coach is confident that his team will emerge victorious.
“This team is not only Messi. To think like that would be a mistake – they also have players like [Gonzalo] Higuain, [Angel] Di Maria and [Sergio] Aguero,” Low said in his pre-match press conference.
“I think it will be a terrific final but we know how strong we are and I believe we will win.
“I have no fear whatsoever because I know it is a match between two teams that have had fascinating duels in the past. We have seen Argentina have produced great performances in this tournament.
“We know we can write history because no European team has won in Latin America. This can be considered an additional achievement for us if we win.”
Low took over from Jurgen Klinsmann following the 2006 World Cup but he was keen to play down suggestions that Sunday’s final would be the culmination of eight years’ of work, insisting the future is bright for German football even if they lose to Argentina.
He added: “We have a mature team. We have shown what we can do and we have been marching forward over the last few years.
“This team and German football has a future whatever happens tomorrow.
“We have players who are playing at their very best and also young players coming through who will have a fantastic future
“We have young players who can play for a number of years. Right now, of course, we just want to concentrate on tomorrow’s game.”