World Cup: Per Mertesacker warns Germany not to drop standards against Argentina
Last Updated: 12/07/14 8:40am
Per Mertesacker has warned even a small drop in standards on Sunday will mean defeat for Germany in the World Cup final.
Germany go to Rio de Janeiro as favourites for a fourth title in the wake of a breathtaking 7-1 victory over hosts Brazil in their semi-final on Tuesday.
But Mertesacker reckons it will take only the slightest loss of focus to open the door to an Argentina side aiming to lift the trophy at the home of their neighbours and bitter rivals.
"We must play the same way that we did against Brazil, otherwise we have no chance," said the Arsenal centre-half, who has not started since the second round game against Algeria.
"Our performance against Brazil was nearly 100 per cent. If you look at the stats, the passing, the goals we scored, everything was so fluent. But if we drop five per cent then we will have no chance.
"(Winning 7-1) is dangerous for us. We can't lose our focus now because we scored seven goals. We must keep calm and be aware of the situation. Our main target is to win the final.
"We want to finish on a high. We want more history. We don't want to just settle for this result before the final."
Several German players are chasing individual honours on top of the team prize ahead of the Maracana final.
Thomas Muller is one goal behind Colombia's James Rodriguez as he pursues a second successive Golden Boot, while Manuel Neuer is nominated for the Golden Glove award given to the tournament's best goalkeeper.
The 10 nominees for the Golden Ball award feature four Germans: Muller, Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos and captain Philipp Lahm.