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Page last updated at 22:21 GMT, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 23:21 UK

World Cup 2010: Joachim Loew backs Spain to win title

Carles Puyol

Highlights - Germany 0-1 Spain

Germany coach Joachim Loew has tipped Spain to win the World Cup after they overcame his side in the last four.

Spain deservedly beat the three-time winners as Carles Puyol's header booked the European champions a meeting with Netherlands at Soccer City on Sunday.

"Compliments to Spain, I believe they will win this tournament," said Loew.

"They've 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."

In sharp contrast to their last-16 meeting with England and quarter-final against Argentina, Germany were largely outplayed in Durban.

606: DEBATE
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David Villa and Puyol came close to giving Spain an early lead and, although Piotr Trochowski saw a shot well saved, Loew's men found themselves under pressure for much of the first half.

It was a similar story after half-time as Xabi Alonso and Villa shot wide before a Pedro drive was parried and Villa narrowly failed to connect with Andres Iniesta's cross.

Soon after Toni Kroos squandered a good opportunity to put Germany ahead against the run of play, Puyol powered home from Xavi's corner and Spain had chances to extend their lead.

But it mattered not as Vicente del Bosque's side repelled a late spell of pressure to reach their first World Cup final.

I won't touch on this issue until after the tournament. Whoever the coach will be this team is here to stay over the next couple of years. The development has just started

Joachim Loew on his future

"We had great plans but it didn't work out," commented Loew, whose team also lost to Spain in the final of Euro 2008. "Spain have won all the big games in the last year.

"Spain are a wonderful team who have played together now for two or three years. I am sure the Spanish can win any game because they are dominant and it's hard to contain their attack.

"They are the masters of the game. You can see it in every pass. They can hardly be beaten. They are extremely calm and convincing. Spain were just better than we were and they deserved to win.

"In 2008 they won the European Championships in a very convincing way and they have been unchanged over the past two or three years. They play in an automatic way and I am confident they will win the title."

Spain had never beaten Germany at the World Cup in three previous meetings but they dictated play from the outset, finishing with 61% of the possession and 13 attempts on goal to Germany's five.

WORLD CUP PHOTO ALBUM

For much of the game, Germany sat back and waited patiently to hit their opponents on the counter-attack but Spain, with only two defeats since November 2006, were wise to the tactic.

"Spain had done their homework and limited our chances," said German keeper Manuel Neuer, whose side sorely missed suspended winger Thomas Mueller.

Captain Philipp Lahm added: "We had planned to do a lot of things, but they didn't come off."

Loew, meanwhile, turned his thoughts to Saturday's third place play-off against Uruguay and insisted he would not discuss his future.

"I have got to try to wake up the team tomorrow," the 50-year-old added. "We have another game to play. We will approach the match seriously.

"We will come to terms with the disappointment and look forward. We have to look ahead and work hard and on Saturday provide a grand finale, if even a small finale.

"I won't touch on this issue [my future] until after the tournament. Whoever the coach will be this team is here to stay over the next couple of years. The development has just started."



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see also
World Cup semi-final photos
07 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Del Bosque eyes World Cup triumph
10 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Abrupt end to German football-fest
08 Jul 10 |  Europe
Spain can make history - Casillas
06 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Fabregas passed fit to play semi
07 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Podolski wants revenge over Spain
06 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Lahm out to keep German captaincy
06 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Loew hails 'incredible' Germany
04 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Who will win the Golden Boot?
10 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Spain
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Spain performance analysis
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Germany
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Germany performance analysis
07 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Germany 0-1 Spain
07 Jul 10 |  Euro 2008


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