Germany: 1-Manuel Neuer; 16-Philipp Lahm, 3-Arne Friedrich, 17-Per Mertesacker, 20-Jerome Boateng, 15-Piotr Trochowski, 6-Sami Khedira, 7-Bastian Schweinsteiger, 10-Lukas Podolski, 8-Mesut Ozil, 11-Miroslav Klose
Spain: 1-Iker Casillas; 15-Sergio Ramos, 3-Gerard Pique, 5-Carles Puyol, 11-Joan Capdevila; 14-Xabi Alonso, 8-Xavi, 6-Andres Iniesta, 16-Sergio Busquets; 18-Pedro, 7-David Villa
Strength – Being the European Champions. They play like kids in the streets in early stages, passing on and on dominating in a powerful way before bringing the poison into their objective attack being unbeatable once they get ahead in the match. Having the most stunning stars in your team will give you the edge to shine and place you in the favorite candidates to win the World Cup.
Weaknesses – Winning the ball ahead by pressuring high on the field so that you could launch a strong counter attack and get ahead in the match will bring hard times to Spain. They know how to win but know not how to lose. They get too nervous when they take longer to score an opening goal so much that they start to open spaces and making defensive forced mistakes. Due to the fact of they are not that strong in terms of body building they fear opponents that play more under a physical approach like Germany.
Opportunities – Playing at a high-tempo as they do will destroy the chances of Germany to defeat them on the counter-attack. Their high rate of possession also comes through short pass like if they were slowly building a puzzle and getting all the pieces before delivering the final masterpiece (goal).
Threats – They are their worst enemy. When they play anxiously they tend to lose focus, especially when coming from behind in terms of result.
Strength –Germany is always tipped to win the World Cup as they already won it 3 times, but a European team never won outside European soil, but this time it will happen. Their well structured squad alongside their tough physical approach plays a key factor in Germany’s way of play. In this World Cup they managed to score 13 goals and conceded only 2 (3 if we take into account Lampard’s goal not credited). They have been able to play strong just in a counter-attack strategy and that seems to be the first time ever a team will manage to go that far in this major competition by playing in such style.
Weaknesses –The pressure has been on young Ozil to fulfill the Kaiser’s position of Ballack and that so far is almost certain that he will scope the Best Young Player of the Tournament following the 2006’s award to also a German player, Lucas Podolski. Playing on the counter-attack style is always a liability as it can backfire but if it does not happen against Spain, then will drive them very closely to the finish line as to be champions again.
Opportunities – Scoring an early goal against Spain will give them the edge to push for more goals because Spain hardly comes from behind as they lose focus and play under an emotional level rather more than strategy. Ozil might easily open spaces through his stunning breakthrough passes.
Threats – The German aggressiveness in defense will be taken into account by Del Bosque that will push for his creative players to get the referee decisions on his side. One of the two goals conceded gifted Germany with a loss against Serbia, meaning that they are not that thick even when managing to torn apart Ghana, England and Argentina.
After 70 minutes of dominance in almost every single department in this match, Puyol is able to head it into the net after a perfect corner kick taken by Xavi. Germany 0-1 Spain. It has been the most tactical match of this World Cup with Germany trying not to concede and with Spain trying to score.
Spain has been wonderful with their mastery passing game canceling almost all efforts from Germany to try and break from the counter. The staggering dominance from Spain is illustrated by their 13 shots against 4 shots Germany with the Spaniards being much more dangerous all the way throughout the match.
Through thick and thin La Roja have been very compact and deservedly have reached the final making the re-edition of their last win against Germany by 1-0 to make it come true the dream of the Spanish to get to that Final of this Major competition such as the World Cup after so long. Surely this time and after winning the European Championships they won’t be questioned how they made it, because they have been almost flawless in their approach. The Spanish media will have to apologize for sure in relation to their early remarks about Spain’s loss against Switzerland.
After Serbia we seen another team to cancel the German outfit and to make they look like ordinary. Argentina, France, Italy, Portugal, Brazil, Uruguay are out and Germany joins them! Germany will still have the chance to fight from the 3rd and 4th place in an interesting clash against Uruguay, but will that be enough?
The final of South Africa’s 2010 World Cup as Nelson Motta predicted against all odds before the competition started is happening – Netherlands vs. Spain.
After all Nelson Motta’s talks regarding the Germany’s squad, finally a reality check came to those who were already crowing the Germans as champions.
The Sports Zone show with Pascal Mathieu and Nelson Motta were surely the only show worldwide stating what the final is as it will happen on Sunday. Back with the show on the 12th of July.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Pedro