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By ESPN Staff

Beckenbauer chooses to skip WC final

Franz Beckenbauer has backed Germany to beat Argentina and win the World Cup on Sunday, although the Die Nationalmannschaft legend will not be in attendance at the Maracana.

In early June, FIFA imposed a provisional 90-day ban on Beckenbauer from taking part in any football-related activity after he failed to cooperate with an investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

However, the ban was lifted later that month after the former Bayern Munich player agreed to answer questions on the topic from FIFA's chief investigator Michael Garcia.

Despite now being allowed to travel to Brazil for the World Cup, Beckenbauer -- the Bundestrainer for the 1986 and 1990 finals between Germany and Argentina -- has chosen to skip Sunday's showpiece event.

"[German Football Association president] Wolfgang Niersbach called me on the day of the semifinal and urged me to come to Rio. I told him that I have other plans," Beckenbauer told the DFB's official website on Friday.

"I can't stand seeing and I don't want to see some of the people there. I will watch it with my family, dressed with a hat, jersey, scarf and all of that. It's just perfect for me."

Beckenbauer is, though, looking forward to the replay of the 1986 and 1990 World Cup finals.

"It could have not been much better," he said. "The perfection would have been Brazil vs. Germany. But the draw did not allow that to happen, and thus it had to be played in the semifinals. That would have been an absolute classic. But Argentina vs. Germany is also a classic, a fantastic cast."

Beckenbauer believes Germany can finally lift the World Cup again -- 24 years after the 1990 final in Italy.

"Argentina's style is dominated by defensive thinking," he said. "They have, however, a great finisher in Gonzalo Higuain, and in Lionel Messi they have one of the best providers in the world, who also scores goals. They will not make the same mistake like Brazil with their horrendous defending against us."

Beckenbauer added: "I can't imagine that the Brazilian spectators will support Argentina. With our fans this will be a home game at the Maracana.

"The World Cup winner can only be Germany."

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