A penalty shoot-out in the World Cup quarter-final would be enough to fray anyone’s nerves, but four years ago the clash between Germany and Argentina boiled over.
After a fraught game where world cup quarter finals betting odds had Argentina down as the favourites, the European side did what they usually do and remained calm to seal a win on spot kicks. However, that wasn’t the end of matters as the tensions which bubbled under the surface over 120 minutes erupted in flurry of kicking and shoving.
It would perhaps be slightly clichéd to suggest that such behaviour is more associated with South American sides than Germany, but as the two teams gear up to face each other in another quarter final, it doesn’t seem like Argentine temperatures have cooled any in the last four years.
Their last 16 tie against Mexico featured a Carlos Tevez goal that was clearly offside and as the Mexicans protested about the issues, several Argentina players decided they should have their say on matters and a bout of pushing and shoving ensued.
This was enough for Bastian Schweinsteiger, one of Germany’s most impressive performers, to aim a swipe at his rivals.
Pointing to the incident against Mexico, he suggested Maradona’s men would be up to more of the same on Saturday.
He said: “You could see their behaviour at halftime of the game against Mexico. When you look at their body language and gesticulations, they way they try to influence the referees, they have no respect.
“It’s their mentality and character and we’ll have to adjust.”
Maradona has already got his retaliation in, suggesting that Schweinsteiger’s comments suggest he’s nervous.
However, it seems likely the real response will come on the pitch and although it’s likely we’ll see some fantastic football, it seems more than likely there will be one or two sharp tackles flying in as well. It’s certainly shaping up to be an interesting tie and it is a very close call as to who will be involved in the world cup semi final betting odds.