Spain midfielder Xavi believes that Germany will be the favourites when the two sides meet in the Euro 2008 final...
While Spain have overcome sides in better form with more convincing performances, Xavi - who scored the opening goal yesterday evening - has suggested that Germany remain the favourites.
He put it largely down to history. When taking into consideration the fact that Spain have only won this (or any) competition once, i 1964, while Germany are record winners with three trophies and this being their sixth final to Spain's third, it could prove hard to look beyond the Mannschaft.
"For many years we haven't won anything while Germany is always up there fighting for the titles, so I would say Germany is the favorite," said the Barcelona veteran.
Fernando Torres, who is looking lively if not without his shooting boots, is looking forward to going one step further on Sunday in Vienna and will have an extra challenge on his hands.
Strike partner and the tournament's leading scorer David Villa has sustained a muscle injury and is almost certain to miss the final entirely, not even being able to take part as a substitute.
With Spain's next best second striker, Raul, controversially omitted from the squad, all is far from lost, as Cesc Fabregas put in a Man of the Match performance last night from an advanced midfield role and it is assumed he will take that up again, as opposed to coach Luis Aragones lining up with two lead strikers in Dani Guiza and Fernando Torres.
Torres has been substituted in each of the games he has played so far, but may be required to go the long haul for the big one on Sunday, but he is upbeat and ready for the challenge.
"This team is already making history, but we can do even more," said the Liverpool ace. "We're proud of reaching the final, and against Germany on top of it all."
Fernando Montabon, Goal.com