Former Spain boss Luis Aragones has finally given La Roja his backing, after weeks of sniping from the sidelines.
The 71-year-old led Spain to glory at Euro 2008 before leaving to manage Turkish side Fenerbahce, but has been noticeably vocal in his criticism of Spain’s recent performances.
When Vicente del Bosque’s side lost their opening match of SA2010 against Switzerland, Aragones blasted the team for a lack of “pace and conviction”.
The Iberians remained unbeaten after that in Group H, picking up further wins against Honduras and Chile, but Aragones memorably tipped them to lose to Portugal in the round of 16.
That clearly didn’t happen, and with Spain also beating Paraguay in the quarter finals, their veteran ex-boss has seeming become convinced that his successor does actually have what it takes to succeed.
“My morale has never been higher and I believe sincerely that Spain will reach the final,” he declared ahead of their semi final meeting with Germany. 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,” he continued. Against Germany I hope to see a Spain side that controls the ball, which is its greatest quality, and playing at a faster speed. I would prefer that Spain play the Dutch as it is closer to our style of football,” he added cautiously, referring to Uruguay’s semi-final opponents. They [the Netherlands] are more pre-disposed to attacking football, which leaves more open spaces.”