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Eight Barça players looking for World Cup glory

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07.07.2010 09:05

Eight Barça players looking for World Cup glory

Jesús Carrillo

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.

gol_alemanya.JPGBoth 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, counterattacking style.

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.

Barça dominate

pique.JPGMeanwhile, 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.

Eight Barça players looking for World Cup glory
Training ground shock for Cesc
In Monday’s training session, Cesc took a heavy blow to his right leg in exactly the same place he injured in the Champions League match against Barça in the Emirates stadium earlier in the season. Scans have ruled out any serious damage to the bone but his presence against Germany is not certain.

For Germany, Thomas Müller, one of the revelations of the tournament, is suspended.

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