Bastian Schweinsteiger has admitted Spain are the best team on the planet “on paper” but still insists Germany can upset the odds once more in their World Cup semi-final clash.
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Spain beat Germany in the Euro 2008 final and went into this tournament at the head of the betting, but Germany have already thrashed England and Argentina when underdogs to progress.
“Losing a final always causes frustration and disappointment but Spain were definitely the better team,” the Bayern Munich midfielder said.
“On paper, Spain are still the better team but I think we have shown in our last two games that we can beat teams that appear the better ones on paper.
“For me, Spain are the best team in the world. It will be tough just like it was against England and Argentina, but I’ve a lot of faith in this team because we’ve seen what we can do if we all pull together.”
The Germans, who came into the competition without being given much chance of winning, have silenced many of the doubters with their attacking brand of play and Schweinsteiger feels their youthful exuberance may give them an edge in Durban.
“Now we have fresh faces and different characters – an unencumbered state of mind,” he continued.
“The younger players who have come in have gained experienced during this tournament.
“Spain haven’t changed that much. Sergio Busquets has replaced Marcos Senna but otherwise they are pretty much the same team as two years ago.
“But Spain haven’t really dazzled in the way that their fans might have hoped, even though 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.”
Germany can be backed at 7/4 with Blue Square to beat Spain in 90 minutes and are 10/11 to qualify for the World Cup final.