Sat Oct 22 01:41:40 SAST 2016

loew tips spain

By Linda Moreotsene | Jul 09, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE Netherlands have had an unblemished run to the final of the 2010 World Cup, but Germany coach Joachim Loew has put his money on Spain to walk away with the bounty at Soccer City on Sunday.

Loew bore the brunt of Spain's intricate passing game. His speedy youngsters had no answer to the mastery of Xavi in the middle of the park in the semifinals.

"They have been the best team for a few years.

"They circulate the ball well and you just can't keep up with them. We couldn't play the way we like to," Loew admitted.

Still, the European champions have a tricky assignment and, despite their confidence, will surely approach Bert van Marwijk's charges with some trepidation.

After all, the qualities that Vicente del Bosque's La Roja have been rightfully extolled for are also in evidence in the Netherlands side.

Much like Spain, the Oranje are great ball players who orchestrate their opponents' downfall from the midfield - and most find the pace and creativity of Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder a big challenge to deal with.

Many concur with Loew's view, though the respondents to a poll have given the Netherlands a 43percent chance of winning.

But Van Marwijk has sought to deflect attention from his team. "Spain are the best team in the world at the moment. They have been in impressive form in the past couple of years. I enjoy watching them play and I'm looking forward to meeting them in the final. It will be a challenge to try to beat them.

"We are not afraid of the Spaniards," he said.

Van Marwijk has the difficult task of banishing Dutch ghosts of 1974 and 1978, when they lost in the final.

If they win Sunday's final the Dutch will become only the second team to record a perfect World Cup campaign after Brazil in 1970, by winning every single match in both qualification and the final.

Kickoff is at 8.30pm.


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