Spain will be crowned world champions for the first time in their history on Sunday, according to German coach Joachim Low.
Low watched his side beaten 1-0 in the second semi-final by a powerful second-half header from Spain defender Carles Puyol to set up a FIFA World Cup™ final between Spain and Holland, the great underachievers of world football.
Low then predicted: "I am confident they will win the title. Spain are a wonderful team. 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 (beating Germany in the final) and they have been unchanged over the past two or three years. They play in an automatic way. They have put on top performances in all matches they have played and they can beat everyone. Over the past two or three years they have been the most skilled team of all. They circulate the ball quickly and we were not able to play like previous matches. We were not able to get rid of our inhibitions."
The Germans were a pale shadow of the vibrant team which had demolished England and Argentina in back-to-back matches. But that had as much to do with the stranglehold Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Xabi Alonso had on the midfield as with Germany's under-par performance. Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque, however, warned his players must not be complacent about Sunday's final when they face a Dutch team also pursuing history.
Del Bosque said: "You must celebrate victory but with moderation and don't forget your responsibilities. We are sportsmen and we want to reach out for the World Cup. Our players know what football is. The defeat against Switzerland(in the group phase) was tough on us. We didn't deserve it. We have been growing and this brought us to the final.
"There is hardly anything more precious than to win the World Cup. We should not be bragging and too conceited, let's just play the next match. Holland play exciting football and have tried to become world champions for a number of years. There are two great teams."
Low, who refused to discuss his own future until after the tournament, turned his thoughts to a third-place match against Uruguay on Saturday. "I have got to try to wake up the team," said Low. "We have another game to play.
"We will approach the match (for third place) 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."