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Achingly Close: Lionel Messi accepts his Golden Ball award just feet away from the World Cup he covets so badly.

Achingly Close: Lionel Messi accepts his Golden Ball award just feet away from the World Cup he covets so badly.

Little consolation: Messi looked less than thrilled with his Golden Ball award.

Little consolation: Messi looked less than thrilled with his Golden Ball award.

Germany's Mario Goetze celebrates after scoring the winning goal.

Germany's Mario Goetze celebrates after scoring the winning goal.

On Sunday against Germany, Lionel Messi will try to lead Argentina to their first World Cup title since 1986.

On Sunday against Germany, Lionel Messi will try to lead Argentina to their first World Cup title since 1986.

Romero the hero as Argentina beat Dutch on penalties

Romero the hero as Argentina beat Dutch on penalties

Try as he did, Arjen Robben couldn't impose himself on Argentina.

Try as he did, Arjen Robben couldn't impose himself on Argentina.

Argentina outlasted the Dutch after a tense semifinal. Their reward? A third World Cup final with Germany.

Argentina outlasted the Dutch after a tense semifinal. Their reward? A third World Cup final with Germany.