POTCHEFSTROOM - Germany
have been the most impressive team at the World Cup thanks to
their successful blooding of new talent, according to Spanish
reserve goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
The European heavyweights meet in the last four in Durban
on Wednesday in an eagerly-awaited repeat of the Euro 2008
final which Spain won 1-0 with a goal from Fernando Torres.
Coach Vicente del Bosque's side is little changed, while
his German counterpart Joachim Low has selected the country's
youngest squad since 1934, blending an exciting crop of new
talent with experienced campaigners.
"They are perhaps the most complete team at the World Cup,
one that has been overhauled since the 2008 final with young
and fresh faces," Reina said at a news conference at Spain's
training base in Potchefstroom.
"It's going to be tough as they are the strongest opponent
right now but we believe in ourselves," he added.
Spain, who are bidding for a first World Cup triumph, have
struggled at times in South Africa against defensive-minded
opponents who try to prevent them from asserting their
customary dominance of possession.
However, Germany have been deploying similar tactics to the
Spanish based around rapid passing, movement off the ball and
devastating counter-attacking, raising the prospect of an open,
"Maybe we play the ball around more and they are more
direct but I don't think we are very different," Reina said.
"We have to make sure they don't get a lead because they are a
very difficult team."
After a shock 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in their opening
Group H match, Spain's progress to the last four has been much
trickier than expected and the poor form of Torres, who plays
with Reina at Liverpool, has been a major concern.
Torres returned from knee surgery shortly before the
tournament and has yet to find the net in five matches, while
his strike partner David Villa is the tournament's leading
scorer with five.
"He (Torres) is a very mature person and he knows perfectly
well that this is what happens sometimes in football and he has
to stay calm," Reina said.
"He has the confidence of the coach, of his team mates and
of himself. Hopefully he'll make history again like at Euro
2008 and be a key player for us."
Follow FFT.com on Twitter
Join FFT.com on Facebook
Barcelona's golden boy grabs the headlines again
It's Larsson Jr stealing the show these days
England striker puts pen to paper on permanent deal
The new season is but six weeks away (in the Football League)
Who would you rather have playing for your club?
12 months out, the stars look to the World Cup
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Adidas Nitrocharge for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010