On Wednesday evening, eight Barça players have the chance to book their ticket in the World Cup final. But first they’ll have to beat Germany, one of the revelations of the tournament.
Both Spain and Germany had a slight hiccup in the group stage, losing to Switzerland
and Serbia respectively. But apart from that they’ve won their remaining four matches and now
find themselves just 90 minutes away from a World Cup final against Holland. While Spain have yet
to display the kind of form that saw them win the last European Championship – curiously
enough beating Germany in the final - a youthful German side have delighted many with their fast,
Germany the top scorers
Since the end of the group phase, Germany have eliminated two of the pre-tournament favourites; first Fabio Capello’s England (4-1) and then Maradona’s Argentina (4-0) – a “performance of champions” according to manager Joachim Low. They also hit four against Australia and are the tournament’s top scorers with 13, yet have only conceded 2 – the same as Spain.
Meanwhile, Spain – managed by former Real Madrid boss Vicente Del Bosque - have only managed six goals despite dominating more than 60% of possession. With six Barça players featuring regularly in Del Bosque’s starting line-ups, it’s no surprise that many claim that Spain bears more than a passing resemblance to Pep Guardiola’s team.
Add the vital contribution of super-sub Pedro – it was his shot that cannoned off the post
straight to the feet of Villa for the Barça new boy to score against Paraguay – and the
contribution of Barça youth academy graduate Cesc Fabregas, there’s no doubt that Del Bosque
has plenty of talent at his disposal. The main selection doubt surrounds out of sorts striker
Torres, who may be replaced by Pedro or Llorente. However, it was Torres who scored the goal that
gave Spain the European Championship.
History in Germany’s favour
This will be the two countries’ fourth meeting in a World Cup and the bad news for Puyol and co is that Spain has never won.
In the England World Cup finals of 1966, West Germany beat Spain 2-1 in Birmingham’s Villa Park. Spain’s goal was scored by former Barça star Josep María Fusté. In 1982, the same score line was repeated in Madrid.
When the two sides met again in Chicago in 1994, Spain managed a 1-1 draw. Once again the Spain goal came from a Barça player – Goicoechea.