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Loew believes his team have progressed significantly since losing the Euro 2008 final to La Furia Roja....

As reported by AS, Germany national team coach Joachim Loew has expressed his optimism as his side prepare to face Spain in the World Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, citing that while La Roja were better than his team in 2008, the past two years have seen the Germans improve such that the two sides are now even in strength.

"Spain in the past two years have been a very solid team with a lot of stability. They play within a system that functions much better than that of Argentina's. They are one of the most dominant teams in the world, but things are different from 2008. At that time, they were superior, but now we are more even. We have an opportunity to beat Spain now that we are on the same level," said the German coach.

Nonetheless, Loew insisted that his team are underdogs heading into their semi-final clash: "The Spaniards are, for me, World Cup favourites," he said. "They make no mistakes. In addition, they work as a team and have several 'Messis' in their ranks."

Loew finished his comments by recounting his feelings after beating Diego Maradona's Argentina side. "I wanted to wish him [Maradona] my best, but it was not possible. Both of them [Maradona and his daughter Dalma] were crying and it was a real disappointment for them. I know how Maradona was feeling."

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