Spanish Devils shouldn't be Underestimated!
Spain has always been known as the underachievers. However, it never did stop their rising glory. If you had to pick the top 10 to 20 players in the world of this decade, it wouldn't be a shock to see names like Xavi, Andres Iniesta, David Villa, Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas & Iker Casillas. How many German names appears on that list? None.
This sport isn't about the greatness of one player, but more focused on the team spirit. Coach Vicente Del Bosque has built Spain's team in Barcelona-style football (since most players on the squad are players that play for Barcelona), which consists of possession play, short coordinated passes and a sharp eye on attack. This tactic all started from coach Luis Aragones, who helped Spain win the European cup in 2008. He relied on midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta to create the plays, and aim for forwards David Villa, David Silva, and Fernando Torres. This is the strength of the España team.
But every strong team has its flaws. The Spanish team suffer from two common problems: their team tends to collapse on through balls and set-pieces, and they deal with teams that tend to use a lot of physicality (teams that tend to play dirty). When faced with problems such as these, the best way that Spain tends to deal with such problems is by conceding an early lead in the game.
Two almighty Barcelonan center backs in Puyol and newly added Gerard Pique (who is known to be a tall, fast and a great herder), and two amazing Real Madrid wing-backs in Raul Albiol and Sergio Ramos (known for his quickness on defense and his talented crosses when on the offensive side) have been called upon to fix such weaknesses Spain has had in the past. It's extremely hard for any team, even the so-called victorious Germans, to create through balls and set-pieces while being defended by these Red Spanish Devils.
Despite his troubles with beautiful women, when thinking of an amazing goalkeeper, lots of folks bring up Iker Casillas' name without any hesitation. With electric response on the ball, this goalkeeper proved his skills against Paraguay, saving a spectacular penalty shot that helped give hope for Spain and two amazing shots up close in the 89th minute that eliminated any chance of going into extra time. One would say that Casillas could be dodgy and lets one or two balls deflect off his body. In the past, it wouldn't be hard for forwards to encounter the ball and place it into the net. However, with this powerful defense, Iker could gladly say "Not this time, fellows".
Not to get me wrong, Germany is a great nation of football and are known for their well organized plays and great physical toughness. They love to force themselves through the defense mainly on counter attacks. But, their weakness are aerial plays and the fact that it's hard for them to beat "big nations". They lost to Italy in 2006, not to mention that they lost against Spain in 2008 in the European Cup (1-0).
Thomas Müller is currently one of the talented players in Germany, with 4 goals and 3 assists. With him not playing in the semifinals, would it be easy for Germans to create more plays? Müller is the core of team. In nearly every play or scoring opportunity, he had something to do it: either with an splendid through ball or a sneaky pass into the box. Germany has scored 13 goals in total, with 7 goals that Müller helped on paper, and some others that he participated in. Without him, how are Germans going to pass through this Spanish defense and score? German players tend to shoot out of the box more often. However, against a great goalie like Casillas, it isn't going to be easy for them to score. They need players like Müller to win!
In my opinion, we are going to be witnessing a spectacular semifinals match between two well talented Class A teams. It isn't going to be easy for both to win, and I don't see how people can state that Germany already has the win in the bag. The Spanish team isn't a team to look down upon, as they show mercy to no one!
Youtube video about Spain entering the 2010 World Cup:
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