Germany vs. Spain FIFA World Cup 2010: Top Storylines
Losing only two of their last 35 games, Spain came into the World Cup as favorites, with one of the most talented soccer teams in the world.
But Germany comes in as the heavy favorite after demolishing two historic champions.
Many believe Wednesday's semifinal matchup would make for one of the greatest finals in Cup history.
Here is why.
The Golden Boot
The biggest honor in soccer, as much as we may talk about the importance of defense, is to be the top scorer in a World Cup.
Two great contenders—one a growing phenom and another a legend—are fighting it out to get the top prize.
David Villa comes into the game with five goals, leading the competition. Miroslav Klose comes in with four, and is a spot in the record books (more on that later).
Clearly the priority will be to win, but undoubtedly teammates will try to get the ball to these top strikers as they seek the top individual honor.
Klose Chases History
Klose needs one more goal to tie Brazilian great Ronaldo for most goals in World Cup History.
Considering how successful the German has been in this World Cup—he is only one goal behind Villa despite missing 60 minutes of the Serbia game and missing the Ghana game due to suspension—he seems a lock to at least tie Ronaldo.
With a successful campaign, the German could quietly become the top scorer without the flare of past strikers but with the greatest finishing touch in soccer history.
Spain Seeks First Final
Spain are known as the greatest underachievers in World Cup history. Despite having some of the greatest players and club teams, they have continuously failed to make a splash in the greatest tournament of all.
In their first semifinal in the current format, Spain will try to finally make it to a World Cup final and prove they deserved to be the favorites coming into South Africa.
The Absence of Mueller
Thomas Mueller, Germany's leading scorer along with Klose, will miss the match against Spain due to suspension on yellow cards.
While the Germans are not lacking in weapons, Mueller has been a stellar breakout in this World cup.
Spain will have an easier time guarding the Germans, but Mesut Ozil and Klose should still be enough of a threat to keep them on their toes.
Will Fernando Torres play?
Torres has not been in top form at this World Cup.
Coming back from injury, he has been relegated to a more contention-type position by manager Vicente Del Bosque. But his lack of scoring and well, scoring opportunities, has left Spanish fans and the media wanting more.
Cesc Fabregas seem to add speed to the field that Torres is not giving, which was seen in the Paraguay game when Torres came out early.
Seeking a New Champion
If Spain can pull off the win against Germany, they will join the Netherlands in the final.
A Spain vs. Netherlands final would assure a new winner being written into the cup for the first time since France in 1998.
Both Spain and the Netherlands have without a doubt been the favorites to break the barrier, and both sides finally seem to be living up to their expectations.
Stopping the German Juggernaut
The Germans have exhibited some of the best soccer ever to be shown on a World Cup stage.
As people claim that the best soccer today is found in the Champions League, the Germans have continuously showed their power and grace behind the ball on the international scene.
They've benefited from depleted opponents with weak midfields that have conformed perfectly to their counterattack. But can they do that against a Spanish team lined with five midfielders?
Avenging the 2008 Euro Cup
By winning the 2008 Euro Cup, this Spain contingent proved they were not just any other underachieving squad.
The win immediately set them up as favorites to win the World Cup, and came in the midst of their outstanding undefeated streak.
They beat a depleted German team, yet many saw this German side as depleted before the World Cup.That is, until they started destroying their formidable opponents.
Germany will have a chance to set things straight by beating Spain on Wednesday and reminding the respective teams of where they belong on the soccer hierarchy.