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Germany v Spain

Schweinsteiger: Spain are world's best

July 6, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Bastian Schweinsteiger say Germany will have to beat the "best team in the world" to reach the World Cup final, but insists his team can do it.

Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates against Argentina
GettyImagesBastian Schweinsteiger celebrates against Argentina

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• Germany v Spain preview

Schweinsteiger has been a revelation for Die Mannschaft as they stormed into the final four with impressive victories over England and Argentina.

The Bayern Munich midfielder was part of the German side that was beaten 1-0 at the final of Euro 2008 by Spain, and he says Vicente del Bosque's side are still the better team "on paper".

But, Schweinsteiger is convinced Germany can gain revenge for their defeat when the two meet in Cape Town. "Spain were much better than us back then, we can have no complaints," he told FIFA.com. "We had the chance to win a trophy, so you're doubly angry when you've missed that chance.

"We weren't at 100 per cent in that match, but now we have to focus on winning, knowing it would take us into the World Cup Final. Every player needs to take that to heart.

"I think we've changed a lot since 2008. We play completely different football, but Spain have stayed practically the same. They've maybe not played the fantastic stuff people were expecting from them here, but they're winning their matches.

"Great teams win even when they're not playing well. That's what makes Spain so dangerous. We're up against the best team in the world, in my opinion. But even the Spanish have weaknesses, and that's what we have to exploit. We've beaten England and Argentina, and if every one of us is 100 per cent up for it, we can beat Spain too."

Germany have surprised many critics with their dynamic style of attacking football, a change from previous years where they were known for their defensive prowess.

They are the leading scorers at the finals with 13 goals and new faces like Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil have all made a big impact. Schweinsteiger said: "We're carefree and bursting with flair.

"But we also have players who know how to calm things down and keep the ball under control. We keep playing the way we like to play right through to the last minute. We're not satisfied just because we might be 2-0 or 3-0 up.

"We keep moving forward and look to get our shots away. Mind you, I don't think anyone expected it to go quite as well as it has. In terms of footballing quality, this is the best Germany team I've ever played in.

"I think the victories over England and also Ghana gave us a great deal of confidence. We went into the Ghana game knowing that if we lost, we were out. We played well against Australia, but our organisation wasn't that good at times. We were much more disciplined and compact against England, and up front, we have players who are putting away their chances.

"The coach [Joachim Low] is the undisputed boss. He and his team have prepared us superbly for every game. For example, against Argentina, we knew we could only let them play their passes up to a certain point. From there on, we were aggressive, we went looking for the ball, and then passed as quickly as possible to our front men. These tactics have brought us tremendous success twice now."

Despite admitting full respect for the European champions, he acknowledged that they were not at their best in South Africa. "Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta but also Xabi Alonso and (Gerard) Pique are great players but we still have a chance against them,'' he said.

"They are the decisive players for Spain because without them (David) Villa and (Fernando) Torres won't get the service needed to score goals. "But Spain haven't really dazzled in the way that their fans might have hoped but they have still been winning. If we can play as a team, just as we have done so far, then we stand a very good chance.''