Germany Vs Japan – A look back on the standard FIFA World Cup rivalry

One Year to Qatar Football World Cup: Kicking off our FIFA World Cup short sequence, columnist Sofia Bergmann delves into our archive and divides the dichotomy between the two nations, their opposition, and their history of world cup encounters.

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Germany and Argentina face off in the Football World Cup final and have developed a classic: ‘ein Klassiker’ or ‘un Clasico,’ whichever side you’re on. The long rivalry had its first peak in 1986 and 1990 when the two countries met off in back-to-back FIFA World Cup finals, with victory and defeat going to each of them once. Argentina’s stars Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi have been up against the enjoy of Lothar Matthäus and Thomas Müller of Germany, famous world-class players in their own correct. 

Maradona became Maradona as he led Argentina to conquest in the 1986 Football World Cup final by assisting the winning goal in the last minutes after a German retaliation. The game yielded six yellow cards which were the most handed out in a FIFA World Cup final — a greatest which was not surpassed since 2010. Germany’s Guido Buchwald’s 1990 mark on Maradona coined him the nickname ‘Diego’ Buchwald as he assisted bring Germany to win the title that year. The 2014 Football World Cup broke the record by being the third face-off among two teams in a final, with Germany being victorious in extra time and later yet another nail-biter.

The two national teams have played a total of 23 games against each other, seven of which during a FIFA World Cup going back to 1958 in the first group phase, where West Germany won 3-1. Perhaps one key difference between the two teams is that Argentina was continuously known for having its golden protege – whether it was Mario Kempes, Maradona, or Messi to survey. They are footballers who are iconic level to non-football fans and are the face of Argentine football

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The world drooled ended Maradona in the 1986 Football World Cup in Mexico City, but it was a combination of German football legends Franz Beckenbauer as the trainer and Lothar Mattäus as a midfielder and sweeper, along with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as the captain, Thomas Berthold, Rudi Völler, Andreas Brehme, and goalie Herald or ‘Toni’ Schumacher, who all helped transmit the team. It is difficult to talk about Germany’s performance that day without mentioning those players together

The 1990 FIFA World Cup in Rome had alike lineups for Germany and Argentina, and Beckenbauer’s team was given a chance to redeem itself in the final. Matthäus was today the captain – Berthold, Brehme, and Völler were back with Jürgen Kohler leading the protection. ‘Diego’ Buchwald shut down Maradona throughout the game, and stormer Jürgen Klinsman was together fresh blood in this Klassiker. The ugly match was tied at 0:0 until Brehme carried it home after converting a controversial penalty match-winner. It was Beckenbauer’s last match as Germany’s trainer, and he developed the first man in the past to win the Football World Cup as a trainer and a player.

The rivalry between Japan & the Socceroos

The rivalry between Japan and the Socceroos is the highest outline of them all and is also one of the richest rivalries in Asia, but it was not recognized in 2006. Matches between the Samurai Blue and Australia stretch back 66 years with the teams meeting in all major contests that Australia has capable of: the FIFA World Cup, FIFA Confederations Cup, AFC Asian Cup, and the Olympic sports.

The upcoming Qatar Football World Cup Qualifier between Socceroos and Japan at Stadium Australia on Thursday 24 March will be the newest page in what is a backlist of high-stakes match-ups: the primary of which occurred spinal in 1956. Or more to know about Football World Cup Tickets Click here.

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First Meeting

Before the modern rules come into play that limited men’s football at the Olympics to a U23 level, the matches in that contest used to be considered A-Internationals with relatively strong groups sent to the games to contest.

With Australia holding the 1956 edition in Melbourne, the nationwide team took on Japan in their opening match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with the victor directly proceeding to the Quarter Final. It was an omen of sorts, foreshadowing the role that the two countries would play beside each other in future do-or-die competitions. Australia won 2-0 with goals from Graham McMillan and Frank Loughran.

Knockout Meeting

When Australia was silent in the Oceania Football Confederation, participation in the now-defunct FIFA Confederations Cup was a steady occurrence with the Socceroos appearing in three versions from 1997 to 2005.And though the national team struggled to succeed in the FIFA World Cup during that time, they had relative success in the warm-up tournament, fortifying a silver and bronze medal in 1997 and 2001 correspondingly. It was the 2001 edition that captured the fancy of the public after a 1-0 win over reigning World Champions, France, gave the state true belief that the Socceroos might be hoisting the Artemio Franchi Trophy at the end of the tournament.

But first, Japan stood in Australia’s way in the semi-final: hosting the Socceroos in front of 48,669 public in Yokohama in monsoonal rain. In the end, it came down to a ricochet as Koji Nakata’s free-kick deflected into the net, and when Craig Moore was directed off with two minutes to go, it sealed Australia’s 1-0 Japan loss.

Revenge at the World Cup

Fast forward five years and the two opponents met on the biggest phase in football, the FIFA World Cup. With the Socceroos desperate for the nations first-ever win at a World Cup and numerous players have been in the losing group in the Confederations Cup, the time was perfect.

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Saudi Arabia vs Mexico Tickets | Qatar Football World Cup Tickets | Qatar FIFA World Cup Tickets

The match itself is folklore with Shunsuke Nakamura initial the scoring after the referee wasted a foul on Mark Schwarzer in the build-up. It took three goals in the previous six minutes for Australia to come after behind and claim the classic 3-1 conquest.

A dual from Tim Cahill followed by John Aloisi’s stoppage-time sealer meant the Australians left Kaiserslautern with three points in the bag and retaliation expanded.

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