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World Cup final live blog

Germany takes on Argentina in Rio de Janeiro at 3 p.m. Eastern time for the World Cup title.

Previews: Soccer royalty in search of new crowns | Messi vs. Maradona | Video | Knockout-round bracket | Full coverage

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Less than an hour to go till ARG vs. GER kickoff!

It took us a few weeks filled with plenty of emotional turmoil to get to the final, but here we are. Here’s what each team is up against.

Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:15 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:15 pm

Germany and Argentina release lineups

Di Maria is still off the starting lineup for Argentina due to a thigh injury.

All the German stars are in place.

Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:17 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:17 pm

Watch Thomas Muller go Gangnam style or something...

I’m not sure when or where this footage was taken, but it was posted to the Web eight days ago and going viral, well, right now. Enjoy?

Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:20 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:20 pm

Germany is all about the Mannschaft

A Germany team fan waves the German flag in the Holocaust Memorial prior to the final. (Adam Berry/Bongarts/Getty Images)

A Germany team fan waves the German flag in the Holocaust Memorial prior to the final. (Adam Berry/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Don’t speak German? “Mannschaft” means “team” if you sprechen Sie Deutsch. The Washington Post reporters on the ground in the European country have a firsthand look at how the population is prepared for the final:

With Germany tipped as the favorites, a cautious optimism gripped a famously skeptical nation, which prepared to erupt tonight in something rarely seen in post-World War II era –- a collective display of German pride.

“I’m full of expectations, I’m 100 percent convinced that we are going to win the World Cup,” said Marco Adam, 20, wearing a set of devil’s horns the color of the German flag. He dodged the Berlin rain on Sunday near the city’s Brandenburg Gate, where up to 200,000 were gathering to watch the match on big screens. “For Germany, this means a huge international success and respect. And if Germany wins, we’re going to party until 8 in the morning.”

Read the rest by clicking here.

Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:27 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:27 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives at the final

(Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

(Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

So what if it looks like he mistook Maracana for the set of “CSI: Miami,” Putin has arrived.

By the way, Russia will host the next World Cup in 2018, and the promotional posters for the 11 host cities are all pretty cool. Take a look at them by clicking here.

Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:31 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:31 pm

Argentina's president will not attend the final

It turns out, Messi is not always greater than family, at least not to Argentina’s new President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who is opting to save her energy for her grandson’s first birthday Monday, rather than hobnob at the World Cup final today.

In a letter to Brazil’s President Dilma Rouseff, Fernandez wrote (via Merco Press):

“On July 14, my grandson Nestor Ivan, who lives in Rio Gallegos [Argentina], will be one year old. You can imagine that as a grandmother, just like you, how much I’m looking forward to share with my family this event.”

Read the rest by clicking here.

In the meantime, here’s the rest of the VIP guest list.

Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:35 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:35 pm

Argentina is ready for another win

(Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

(Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

Rio is packed with blue-and-white-clad fans and they’re all ready to take on a tough German team. The Washington Post’s Rio-based correspondents Dom Phillips and Nick Miroff writes:

“Everyone in Argentina is together,” said fan Maximiliano Gauna, calling ‘futbol’ in his country “the mother of everything.”

Gauna, 26, and four friends had piled into a minivan for the trip from Buenos Aires to Rio, crashing in a makeshift fan camp where they took turns sleeping in the back of the vehicle.

They’re not alone. Phillips and Miroff continue:

Tens of thousands of Argentines have left their troubles back home and descended on Rio by bus, carpool and even old Vespa scooters to flood the beaches and streets with blue-and-white jerseys and a boozy swagger.

Bring it, they say. Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:41 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:41 pm

Rihanna is in the stands for the final

(Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

(Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

It looks like she might be cheering for Pele. Why not?

Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:45 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:45 pm
Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:46 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:46 pm

Tom Brady is dressed like a U.S. football referee

(Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

(Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The Patriots’ quarterback is representing football in the land of futbol, as he accompanies his Brazilian supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen to the final match. (Gisele is helping to present the World Cup trophy today.)

Marissa Payne
July 13, 2:50 pm
  • Marissa Payne July 13, 2:50 pm
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