World Cup 2010: Spain Vs. Germany -- Starry Individuals Face A Daunting Team Of Relative No-Names
One team has been laying beat downs.
The other team, well, hasn't.
That pretty much sums up the difference between Germany and Spain heading into their semifinal date later this afternoon - evening in Durban, South Africa.
In a rematch of the 2008 European finals, the Germans look to extract a little revenge against the Spaniards, and punch their ticket in the final match of the FIFA World Cup against the Netherlands.
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Germany has been rather impressive in this tournament. Yeah they lost to Serbia, and yeah they barely beat Ghana, but their other victories have been downright dirty. They destroyed Australia 4-0, dispatched England 4-1, and disposed of Argentina 4-0.
Spain is no pushover, however. They've only lost twice in the last couple of years, 1-0 to Switzerland to open the World Cup and 2-0 to the US in last year's FIFA Confederations Cup.
Spain also has the bragging rights, as current European champions, and as favorites heading into this tournament, they'll bring their A game later today.
So who has the edge in today's game?
Individuality vs. Team
Spain has the best collection of individual talent in this World Cup, even more than Brazil. When you can't find a spot for Cesc Fabregas on your starting 11, then you are loaded with talent. Starting for Spain will be the likes of Fernando Torres, David Villa, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, and Sergio Ramos. With this collection of talent, Spain was able to breeze through qualification and take the 2008 European championship.
But it's not like Germany is devoid of talent. Though names like Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose, and Bastian Schweinsteiger may not be as sexy, they get the job done. And so far in South Africa, they've been the more impressive side. Germany is a more cohesive unit defensively, and has been scoring at will more effectively than Spain.
It was Schweinsteiger who held 2009 FIFA Footballer of the Year Lionel Messi in check during their last game, and he'll be called to man the midfield once more. This total team effort that Germany has mastered in South Africa should be the reason they prevail over Spain.
Winner will face the Netherlands
For the first time in over 40 years, the Netherlands are back in the World Cup final. In a surprisingly thrilling game yesterday, the Dutch topped Uruguay 3-2. The stars rose to the occasion for the Dutch, as Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder each tallied for the Netherlands.
After beating Brazil in the quarterfinals, many people thought the Netherlands would steamroll the South Americans. Uruguay had none of it, as they fought for 90 minutes trying to stave off elimination. In the end, the Netherlands are the ones awaiting their opponents for this Sunday in Soccer City.