Sergio Romero – Just as important as Mascherano will be to Argentina’s cause, the country’s goalkeeper is sure to be busy against Thomas Muller and Die Mannschaft. Romero played the hero in his nation’s shootout win over the Netherlands and will need to step into that role again.
Lionel Messi – For all of Germany’s talent, they lack what Argentina have in Lionel Messi: a true world-class game changer. A tiny bit of open space or a perfectly-placed free kick and Messi could crush Germany’s World Cup dreams. Messi is the key to an Argentina victory.
Javier Mascherano – Nobody played a bigger role in shutting down the high-powered Dutch than Mascherano. The Barcelona man will have to be just as effective if Argentina hope to shut down a German squad that has scored 17 times in Brazil.
Sergio Romero – Just as important as Mascherano will be to Argentina’s cause, the country’s goalkeeper is sure to be busy against Thomas Muller and Die Mannschaft. Romero played the hero in his nation’s shootout win over the Netherlands and will need to step into that role again on Sunday.
Marcos Rojo – Brazil has been a coming out party for Rojo. The 24-year-old defender has started in all but one of Argentina’s World Cup games and has been influential on both ends of the pitch.
Gonzalo Higuain – With Angel di Maria out of the tournament, Messi will need some offensive support should the Germans jump out to an early lead. Higuain will have to be that support for the Argentinians.
Thomas Müller – With five goals in Brazil, the 24-year-old Muller tanks among the tournament’s elite with 10 career goals. Should Sunday’s final descend into another defensive chess match, the Germans will bank on Muller’s talent for finding the back of the net on the biggest stage.
Mats Hummels – No defender has been more important in the German’s run than Hummels. The 25-year-old has been a key piece at the back end for Die Mannschaft and has chipped in offensively, scoring the only goal in a quarterfinal win over France. However, Hummels has been dealing with a lingering knee injury.
Manuel Neuer – There’s no doubt that Neuer has been the most dynamic goalkeeper in Brazil. None have been as active or fearless in this World Cup, and those characteristics will be essential to shutting down the highly skillful Argentinians.
Philipp Lahm – Lahm may be the most important man on the pitch for Germany in Sunday’s final in Rio. Nobody will be more crucial in shutting down Lionel Messi than the German captain.
Toni Kroos – Kroos had been relatively quiet in Brazil until a two-goal effort in his nation’s thumping of Brazil in the semifinals in which the 24-year-old scored twice. If Muller is unable to make an impact on the score sheet at the Maracanã, Kroos will be expected to step up for Germany.