Xavi: Time for Spain to gain top spot

JOHANNESBURG - It is time for Spain to take their place at the top of world football by beating the Netherlands in Sunday's World Cup final, midfielder Xavi said on the eve of the clash.

The European champions are favourites to beat the Dutch at Soccer City but the influential Xavi said they will have to pay close attention to the details of what should be a tight, tactical encounter.

"Football around the world is very even at the moment, very balanced. It's the minor details that can be decisive," he said when asked if Spain was about to take over from some of the countries that have been at the top of the pecking order in world football, such as Brazil and Italy.

"If there is a change in the world order I hope it's in favour of Spain. It's time for Spain to take its place at the top and I think this generation of players fully deserves that," he said.

"We are just anxious to kick off and show the best possible side of Spain. We are filled with enthusiasm and motivated. It's an historic game for us and we want to enjoy the moment," he added.

The Netherlands head into the final having won every game at this tournament and every single qualifying game and like the Spanish they have built their success around a flexible front line and intelligent passing.

"The Dutch play a very similar football to us and it's going to be a very closely-fought final. We'll have to be very careful with the details tomorrow that's for sure," said Xavi.

"I don't think the match will be decided in the midfield but the team that has the most possession will definitely have almost won the battle. We will try to impose our style," added the 30-year-old.

While the Spanish have played some impressive possession football, they have struggled at times to create and convert chances.

"We are feeling very comfortable with our football and creating many chances. Perhaps the percentage has not been as high as usual so let's see if we can raise that percentage on Sunday," he said.

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