Germany and Argentina World Cup Winners
Andreas Brehme, Lothar Matthaeus and Pierre Littbarski of Germany and Diego Maradona of Argentina celebrate Getty

Argentina and Germany will meet in the 20th World Cup final at the Maracanã stadium on Sunday (13 July) in the latest chapter of what has been a tempestuous rivalry.

The nations have twice contested World Cup finals, in 1986 and 1990, with either side experiencing the ecstacy and agony of both finishing as winners and losers.

At Mexico in 1986 it was Argentina, led by the imperious Diego Maradona, who claimed the trophy after beating West Germany 3-2.

But four years later at Italia 90, the Germans exacted revenge for the defeat, overcoming the South American's 1-0.

Here is the story of how each final was won.

Diego Maradona
Diego Maradona evades a tackle from West Germany's Lothar Matthaus Getty


Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, 29 June.

Attendance: 114,600

Argentina 3 (Brown '23, Valdano '56, Burruchaga '84) ‒ West Germany 2 (Rummenigge '74, Voller '81)

All eyes were on Diego Maradona at the Estadio Azteca after he had scored five and created another five of his team's 14 goals en route to the final. But West Germany had its card marked, particularly that of Lothar Matthaus.

It took an unlikely scorer, Argentina's central defender Jose Luis Brown, to break the deadlock, when he opened the scoring for Carlos Bilardo's team with a 23rd minute header.

Jorge Valdano doubled the lead by slotting the ball into far post, but the Germans fought back ‒ Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voller both striking in a six-minute spell.

Finally, Maradona broke free of the shackles placed upon him by Matthaus, sending Jorge Burruchaga clear in the 83rd minute for the midfielder to win a second world crown for the South Americans.

The loss meant West Germany manager Franz Beckenbauer became the first person to lose a World Cup final as both manager and player, an unwanted record he would correct four years later.

Diego Maradona and Lothar Matthaus
Diego Maradona was again marshalled by Lothar Matthaus in the 1990 World Cup final Getty


Stadio Olimpico, Rome, 8 July

Attendance: 73,603

Argentina 0 - 1 West Germany (Brehme '85)

Argentina reached the final in the Eternal City after winning a penalty shootout (sound familiar?) against Italy, where they faced familiar opponents West Germany, who also progressed in a shootout against England.

An ill-tempered and best-forgotten final took an ugly turn when Carlos Bilardo saw his Argentina side reduced to nine men after both Pedro Monzón and, in the 87th minute, Gustavo Dezotti were shown red cards.

West Germany, spurred on by the Inter Milan trio of captain Lothar Matthaus, Jurgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme, failed to spark into life and it was only when Voller was brought down by Roberto Sensini that Andreas Brehme was able to show typical German nerve and convert what turned out to be a tournament-winning penalty.

Sixteen years after captaining West Germany to the World Cup, Beckenbauer had done it again as manager.