“Our players carried out their job in a magnificent way,” Del Bosque said after 1-0 win clinched a first ever appearance in a World Cup final for Spain. “Let’s now think what we have pending before us.”
A second-half header from Carles Puyol secured victory, but the Spanish were dominant. For large parts of the second half, Germany was pinned back and unable to even cross the halfway line.
The intricate passing of Barcelona duo Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in midfield and the vision of Xabi Alonso, who became more influential as the game progressed, proved too much for Joachim Loew’s side who never reached the heights of the classy wins over England and Argentina in earlier rounds.
Miroslav Klose, needing just one goal to become the all-time joint highest goalscorer at World Cups, was peripheral. And Lukas Podolski, another attacking threat, was isolated on the left, closed down repeatedly by the Spanish midfield.
Del Bosque hailed his players for not letting the Germans excel. “We can say that Germany wasn’t as good as we’d expected, but that’s thanks to the excellent work of our team,” he said.
“We were better than them in the overall count and we played the way we like to play.”
Del Bosque said ball possession is key for his side. “Today we weren’t pressured as much as we were against Paraguay and Chile,” he said, referring to hard-fought victories earlier in the competition.
“I think that if we’re comfortable with the ball, we don’t suffer,” he said. “Those other teams made us suffer a lot, closing us down, pressing and not letting us play.” Neither Spain nor the Netherlands have won a World Cup, but both sides play fluent and imaginative, attacking football, setting up what could be a memorable final.
Del Bosque said his team would stay focused on the job ahead. “Let’s celebrate with moderation and with cool heads,” he said.