One month after 32 teams began chasing glory across Germany, only two teams are headed for the final game in Berlin. Brazil, the heavy favorite, is gone after falling to France in the quarterfinals. Also gone is the host nation's team, eliminated by Italy in the semifinals. And so for the first time since 1978, the final game will commence without either of the World Cup's biggest historical heavyweights.
So will it be Italy, which last won in 1982, or France, which claimed the title at home in 1998, winning for the second time in the last seven tournaments? Will the Italians quiet a raging scandal by winning it all, much as they did in 1982? Or will France's Zinedine Zidane earn one more piece of evidence supporting his place alongside names like Pele and Beckenbauer?