The showdown has begun - the World Cup final in Brazil

The showdown has begun - the World Cup final in Brazil
Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, center, and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, watch the opening ceremony of the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina. AP Photo/Martin Meissner
RIO DE JANEIRO: The World Cup final kicked off at the Maracana Stadium on Sunday with Germany wearing its traditional white shirts and Argentina playing in dark blue.
With Lionel Messi in the starting lineup, Argentina will have one of the best players in history on the field. The four-time world player of the year has had a stellar World Cup so far, and a win on Sunday will give him the one major title he is missing.

For Germany, a team led by Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger is trying to finally win a major trophy after a nearly 20-year wait. But they'll have to do it without Sami Khedira, the Real Madrid midfielder who was ruled out of the final only minutes before kickoff and was replaced by Christoph Kramer.