The Spanish press rejoiced on Sunday at the national team's "historic" but "agonising" victory over Paraguay that takes them into the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time.

"Blood, sweat and victory!" headlined the sports paper AS. "Paraguay was a very strong opponent that took Spain to the limit," it said.

"This time yes!" said the Catalan daily El Periodico. "The end of the curse," was a headline in the sports daily Marca, referring to Spain's failure to previously make it further than the quarter-finals. Spain's 1-0 win in Johannesburg on Saturday takes the reigning European champions into a semi-final against Germany on Wednesday.

Barcelona's recent signing David Villa broke the stalemate just seven minutes from time with his fifth goal of this FIFA World Cup, making him the tournament's leading scorer. That came after a dramatic exchange of missed penalties, including one that the referee ordered Xabi Alonso to take twice after Spanish encroachment into the penalty area.

All papers carried news of the match on their front pages, with most highlighting both Villa's performance and that of keeper Iker Casillas. "Que Villa Espana!" headlined the business daily La Gaceta, a reference to the song "Que Viva Espana!" regularly sung by supporters.

"Spain moves forward to glory," said Spain's leading daily El Pais. "An agonising victory, with a goal from Villa and a display by Iker."

"Villa makes history," said El Mundo. "Spain makes the semi-finals for the first time after a frenetic second half with decisive saves by Iker, two missed penalties and another disallowed by the referee."

"One step to glory," said the ABC daily, anticipating a possible FIFA World Cup win. Spain's only previous appearance in the last four was in 1950 when there were no semi-finals but a group phase.