Paraguay coach Gerardo Martino believes his team can follow in the footsteps of the Netherlands, who stunned mighty Brazil, by shocking Spain in Saturday's FIFA World Cup™ quarter-finals.
Paraguay, playing in their first last-eight match, will start the Ellis Park clash against the European champions as the underdogs as they pit their rock-solid dependability against Spain's stylish, intricate passing game. "We expected Brazil to go to the final, but the Dutch played really well and Brazil helped them in their task by making some huge mistakes," said Martino.
"Spain have been playing well, so too Germany, but for me Argentina is the best team in the quarter-finals. We will go out against Spain aiming to win. In the World Cup, it's not always the team who plays well who wins, but the one which shows the most courage, the most heart and the best fighting spirit."
Paraguay have made the quarter-finals despite scoring just three goals in four games and they needed a penalty shoot-out to defeat Japan in the last 16. Martino will be hoping his team's defence can smother Spain's passing style.
"They monopolise possession so much that you have to be very defensive. It's not easy to be on the attack against such a team," said the Argentine coach. "We will have to improve out distribution of the ball and prevent Spain from playing like they usually do. We played well in periods against Italy and Slovakia, but now we have to it for the whole match. It's a great time to start shattering this image that we are a team who only defend."