Goal.com's Subhankar Mondal reflects on the previous occasions the Europeans have met on the world's biggest stage.....In our World Cup Comment series, individual writers at Goal.com offer their views on the hot World Cup topics of the day with local expertise and a global outlook.....
Germany and Spain lock horns in the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup at the Durban Stadium in Durban on Wednesday evening. It is expected to be one of the most entertaining and intriguing matches in South Africa and indeed either side can win it.
The two European countries are not exactly great rivals but they have encountered each other a number of times in the World Cup finals in the past. We now take a look at the times that they clashed with each other on the world's biggest footballing stage.
We also take at a look at a couple of key European Championship ties in which the two sides have confronted each other.
1966 World Cup
West Germany and Spain met in the World Cup finals in 1966. Along with Argentina and Switzerland, the duo were clubbed in Group 2 in the opening stage. The two sides met in the third round of matches in the group stage at Villa Park in Birmingham in what was eventually going to decide which teams qualified from the group.
In front of just over 50,000 spectators, Josep Fuste gave Spain the lead in the 23rd minute. But just 16 minutes later Lothar Emmerich equalised for the Germans. With just six minutes remaining, Uwe Seeler netted the ball to win the game and send West Germany through to the second round. Spain were eliminated - Argentina's 2-0 win against Switzerland meant that La Furia Roja finished third in Group 2. West Germany would go on to contest the final against England, which they lost under memorably controversial circumstances.
1982 World Cup
West Germany and Spain were clubbed together along with England in Group B in the second round of the 1982 World Cup finals held in Spain. The match between the two Europeans was played at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid and was won by the Germans. Pierre Littbarski put West Germany ahead in the 50th minute and Klaus Fischer doubled their advantage in the 75th minute. However, with eight minutes of normal time remaining Jesus Maria Zamora halved the deficit to set up a tense final few minutes. Spain lost that match, finished bottom of the group and went out of the competition. Germany, on the other hand, won the group and eventually reached the final, only to lose to Italy.
1994 World Cup
In 1994 Germany and Spain clashed once again, this time in the group stage. The duo were placed in Group C along with South Korea and Bolivia. Germany and Spain took on each other at the Soldier Field in Chicago. Ion Andoni Goikoetxea broke the deadlock as early as the 14th minute for La Furia Roja but Juergen Klinsmann secured a draw for the Germans three minutes into the second half.
Both sides progressed to the second round from this group, Germany as group winners with seven points and Spain as runners-up with five. Both of them would go on to reach the quarter-finals, but both would get knocked out at that stage - Die Mannschaft went down 2-1 to Bulgaria while La Roja were defeated by Italy by the same scoreline.
We now take a look at a couple of key European championship matches Germany and Spain have faced each other in.
West Germany and Spain were placed along with Portugal and Romania in Group B in the Euro '84 finals. The two sides met in the final round of matches in the group stage at the Parc des Princes in Paris with both teams looking for qualification to the second round.
Antonio Maceda scored the only goal of the match in the 90th minute with his head and sent Spain through. La Roja finished as group winners while Germany were knocked out of the competition. Spain eventually reached the final where they lost to France.
Germany and Spain contested the final of Euro 2008 at the Ernst Happel Stadion in Vienna. The Iberians went to the match as the favourites and lived up to the tag thanks to a 33rd minute goal from Liverpool striker Fernando Torres.
Spain won every single match in the competition, becoming the first team since France in 1984 to have won the European championships by winning all their games. They were also the first team since Germany in 1996 to win the tournament undefeated.