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Press review: Germany was 'too respectful' of Spain

The European press reflects on Germany's World Cup 0-1 defeat to Spain. While the mood in Germany is sombre, there is praise for Spain and also a hint of hope at what the 2010 team could achieve in the future.

German papers

Spain are through to the World Cup final for the first time

Newspapers across Germany have lamented the end of the so-called 'summer fairytale' for the country after their 0-1 defeat by Spain.

Carrying photos of upset fans and pictures of the young German team in tears, the national mood is epitomized by the headline of the mass-circulation tabloid daily Bild-Zeitung: "The dream is over."

The paper writes that, "The European Champions [Spain] were simply too strong… No matter how tough it may be to accept, the defeat was deserved."

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily points to the flaws in the German game, claiming the team "respected the Spaniards too much" and "rarely gave Spain any cause for distress." But the paper heaped praise on Germany's goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, saying the keeper is the only reason Germany were not defeated more thoroughly.

The team may have not reached the final, but Die Tagezeitung said there were still reasons for German fans to be cheerful, and called the game a "feast for the eyes" with some "beautiful football."

"Unfortunately by the end, even the German machine could not stop the Spanish," the paper said.

Die Welt kept up the positive tone, focusing on the progress made by the German team and citing it as "the end of scrappy football." The newspaper praised Joachim Loew's "multi-cultural troop" and their approach to soccer, which prioritizes "elegance over strength."

"Yesterday the Spaniards were the better footballers, and we recognize this. Now we can reflect on what this German team has given us in the last wonderful days in South Africa - especially the worldwide enthusiasm and recognition for our team," Die Welt wrote.

Spanish reaction

The Spanish press was jubilant after their national side made it to the World Cup final for the first time ever.

The team "has made history thanks to a decisive goal from Puyol," wrote sports newspaper AS.

"It's not a dream, Spain is in the final," wrote Madrid daily ABC.

Catalan daily La Vanguardia said "Spain achieved world glory" by beating Germany.

"Spain eliminate Germany and make history," was French daily Le Monde's headline, adding that the Spaniards were able to "find resources the Germans did not have in store."

UK daily The Guardian stated that Spain has "hit on a formula for glory," pointing out that the team had won each one of their knockout games in the tournament 1-0. "Their play is enjoyable as well as masterful," it wrote. But in Sunday's final against the Netherlands, the Dutch "will require every ounce of strategic intelligence and combativeness if they are not to vanish from the game," it said.

Compiled by Catherine Bolsover
Editor: Nancy Isenson

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