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Wednesday, July 7, 2010
ESPNsoccernet: July 8, 10:05 AM UK
Del Bosque hails "extraordinary" Spain

Soccernet staff

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has said his team were "extraordinary" after they beat Germany 1-0 to claim a place in their first World Cup final.

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Del Bosque saw his team claim victory in Durban after Carles Puyol headed home a Xavi corner after 73 minutes.

"Players from defence to attack were extraordinary and played a great game," Del Bosque said. "I need to congratulate all of my players who have been superb in defence and attack. It was a heck of a match.

"I would like to thank everyone...all the fans. This is an enormous source of happiness for all of us.

"You must celebrate victory but with moderation and don't forget your responsibilities. We are sportsmen and we want to reach out for the World Cup.

"Our players know what football is. The defeat against Switzerland [in the group phase] was tough on us. We didn't deserve it. We have been growing and this brought us to the final.

"There is hardly anything more precious than to win the World Cup. We should not be bragging and too conceited, let's just play the next match."

Spain will now face Netherlands in Sunday's final, with both teams aiming to win their first World Cup. Turning his attention to the Dutch, Del Bosque claims Bert van Marwijk's squad boast a fine football tradition.

"They represent a brilliant school of Dutch football," he told Marca. "I hope that we can find ourselves at ease with the ball and that we play with our characteristic personality."

Star striker David Villa believes Spain have shown throughout this tournament that they are able to produce their best when needed. "We've shown that in the big moments we've risen to the occasion," Villa said.

Midfielder Xabi Alonso said Germany were formidable opponents but praised goalscorer Puyol for his crucial intervention in Durban.

"We had to make the cut against a great rival," Alonso told AS. "We have played a very mature game, especially considering it's the semi-final of a World Cup and being the first time we played one. We are one step to tasting the glory.

"There were ten minutes in which we were playing on the edge of the area but could not score and in the end Puyol has come like a wild boar and scored."




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