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Del Bosque stays grounded

DURBAN, July 8 – Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque insisted his side would take nothing for granted ahead of a World Cup final meeting with the Netherlands they will start as clear favourites."Of course we must celebrate this victory but we will do so with moderation," Del Bosque said after Carles Puyol’s fabulous header gave his side a 1-0 semi-final win over Germany on Wednesday.

"We will not be blinded by success. We will enjoy this and tomorrow we start preparing for the final.

"There is nothing more difficult or precious than to win a World Cup. But we still have to play the final. We cannot start bragging or get too conceited yet."

Del Bosque praised his players for sticking to their task until their domination finally yielded a winning goal 17 minutes from the end of regulation time.

"We looked to win the ball and keep it for the entire match and the players have done their job in a magnificent way," he said.

"The triumph is even bigger because of the size of the opponent. You could say Germany was less strong than expected but was because our team did a great job. The bottom line is we played better than they expected."

Del Bosque sprung a surprise by dropping Fernando Torres from his starting line-up, promoting the young Barcelona forward Pedro instead while moving David Villa to the central striker’s role.

"It was a difficult decision," he said. "Fernando is a boy everyone likes, a strong personality and a good player. But we took a decision on the basis of what we thought was best for this match."

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Del Bosque added: "We are priveleged to have many great things in our country and one of them is sport. We have been waiting for so many years for a major success and I certainly believe Spain deserves to be triumphant.

"I am running a group of young men who are very experienced. They know what football is.

"The defeat against Switzerland (in the group stage here) was very tough on us. But we believe in our ability and character. We have been growing and think this is what brought us to the final."

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