JOHANNESBURG - Spain are still hoping to
see the best of out-of-sorts striker Fernando Torres at the
World Cup, according to coach Vicente del Bosque.
Torres returned from knee surgery shortly before the
tournament in South Africa and turned in another lacklustre
performance for the European champions in Saturday's 1-0 win
over Paraguay before being substituted shortly after halftime.
Strike partner David Villa again overshadowed the Liverpool
forward, scoring an 83rd-minute winner to set up a last-four
clash against Germany, whom Spain beat 1-0 in the final of Euro
2008 with a Torres goal.
"He (Torres) is in good shape physically and in his defence
you have to say that the team didn't really string together
their attacks well," Del Bosque said at a news conference after
his side kept alive their hopes of a first World Cup triumph.
"We are satisfied with his work and his attitude and we are
hoping for the best of him in our next matches," he added.
While Torres has yet to find the net in any of Spain's
games, Villa took his tally to five in five for the tournament
and now has 43 goals in 63 appearances, one short of Raul's
national scoring record of 44 in 102 matches.
Looking ahead to the match against Germany in Durban on
Wednesday, Spain captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas said
Joachim Low's prolific side, who thumped Argentina 4-0 in their
quarter-final after thrashing England 4-1, were the best at the
"They proved that against both Argentina and England and I
think we have to show them maximum respect," Casillas, who saved
a Paraguay penalty in a dramatic second half at Johannesburg's
Ellis Park, told reporters.
"It won't be an easy match and they will be out for revenge
after the European Championship," he added. "But we'll stand up
Torres added: "I am a great follower of German soccer and
always have been.
"For me, they are a great side and we'll have to be prepared
as we haven't had a match as tough yet."
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