Spain to keep faith with attacking style

POTCHEFSTROOM - Spain must remain faithful to their fast-flowing, attacking style against Germany in Wednesday's World Cup semi-final, according to coach Vicente del Bosque.

The European champions, who beat the Germans 1-0 in the final at Euro 2008, have faced teams deploying mostly defensive tactics in South Africa and have kept alive their hopes of a first World Cup triumph thanks to the creative flair of players like Xavi, Andres Iniesta and the prolific David Villa.

Germany's young team, meanwhile, have demolished international giants England and Argentina with a similar blend of quick passing, movement off the ball and devastating counter-attacking, raising the prospect of a much more open match in Durban on Wednesday.

"We have to be, or try to be, faithful to our style, with the competitive spirit we have shown," Del Bosque said at a news conference at Spain's training base in Potchefstroom.

"We started off this World Cup with the (1-0 Group H) defeat to Switzerland, which was so painful, but now the joy of four consecutive wins has put us in the semi-finals and we hope to make the most of it."

Germany coach Joachim Low has selected the youngest German World Cup squad since 1934 and has managed to build a side out of exciting new talent like Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil and old hands Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski.

Spain, by contrast, are little changed from the team that lifted the European Championship trophy in Vienna two years ago.

"They (Germany) recently began a rebuilding exercise for a team that appeared to be worn out," Del Bosque said.

"They started from scratch and managed to rejuvenate the side and are feeling their way at this tournament while respecting players from the past.

"I think they have made advances, although Germany have always been strong."


The 59-year-old Del Bosque said he did not think the German players would be motivated by a desire to revenge the Euro 2008 defeat, in which striker Fernando Torres, who has yet to find the net in South Africa, scored the only goal.

"Talk of revenge in the great national teams doesn't exist," he said.

"They want to win to get to the final and so do we. Athletes always look to the future."

Asked whether Torres, who returned from knee surgery shortly before the World Cup, would be in the starting 11 to face Germany, Del Bosque said he believed he would.

"He continues to be an important player for us and one that the other squad members are used to," he added.

"All strikers go through good and bad runs but he brings his work rate and his personality to the team and he is still our forward.

"You should not necessarily take my words to mean that he is definitely going to be starting (the Germany match) but we have full confidence in him."

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