Spain's UEFA EURO 2008 winning coach Luis Aragones said on Tuesday that he believed the Spanish would beat Germany in their 2010 FIFA World Cup™ semi-final - a far cry from the critical comments he has been making throughout the finals.
The 71-year-old Aragones said that he had witnessed a Spanish side playing better and better as the tournament progressed and capable of winning the title for the first time in their history.
"My morale has never been higher and I believe sincerely that Spain will reach the final," Aragones said of the Spanish clash in Durban on Wednesday with Germany, the team his side beat 1-0 in the 2008 European final. "I see a Spain side that is playing better and better, imposing its style of play in almost all the matches, with more difficulty in some matches than others."
Spain has gathered momentum and that is very important in a World Cup finals.
Aragones, who predicted wrongly that Spain would lose to Iberian neighbours Portugal in the last 16 round clash, said that the momentum Spain were building was invaluable in a major tournament.
"Spain has gathered momentum and that is very important in a World Cup finals," said Aragones, who stepped down after guiding Spain to their second major title and was replaced by Vicente Del Bosque. "Against Germany I hope to see a Spain side that controls the ball, which is its greatest quality, and playing at a faster speed."
Aragones, who moved on to coach Turkish side Fenerbahce for a season after leaving the Spanish post, said he would prefer that Spain faced another side who have yet to win the FIFA World Cup, the Netherlands in the final on Sunday.
The Dutch play two-time champions Uruguay later on Tuesday in Cape Town. "I would prefer that Spain play the Dutch as it is closer to our style of football," said Aragones, who had a distinguished playing career as a striker and was capped 11 times. "They are more pre-disposed to attacking football, which leaves more open spaces."