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Spain striker Fernando Torres believes his side’s hunger to shrug off their chokers tag will hold them in good stead against Germany in this weekend’s EURO 2008 final…

La Furia Roja defeated Russia 3-0 on Thursday to book their place in the final of a major tournament for the first time since 1984, when they lost to EURO hosts France in Paris.

Many have speculated that perhaps Luis Aragones’ men do not have the big-game experience to cope against the Germans, who have reached no less than five major finals in the last 24 years.

And while Torres acknowledged that Joachim Löw’s side are decidedly more battle-hardened, he insisted Spain’s drive and desperation could well undo the Mannschaft.

Hunger

“The experience of the Germans and the fact they played so many finals since we last reached a final ourselves is something that could play an important role,” he said in The Sun.

“But, on the other hand, we have the hunger and the desire to finally win something.

“We have reached the final but nobody remembers the runners up. We want to be champions and make the whole world talk about us — at least until the next European Championships in four years.”

The Liverpool hitman added: “We know how the Germans are. We have to learn from our game against Italy, who are also a team that win tournaments. We have to keep calm and try and exploit our opportunities to cause them damage.”

Dilemma

Torres will be without usual strike-partner David Villa on Sunday, as the Valencia man succumbed to injury against the Russians and has been ruled out of the final.

Cesc Fabregas is likely to start in Villa’s stead after putting in a match-winning display as his replacement against Guus Hiddink’s men, despite playing in an unfamiliar role in front of the midfield.

Torres was full of praise for the 21-year-old’s performance and believes his ability to dictate the play further up the pitch could prove vital – if the Arsenal gun does in fact start.

“Cesc has shown he’s a great player, a massive player for us and he was the difference between us and Russia in the semi-final,” the ex-Atletico Madrid man said. “He knows how to control the rhythm of a game and to have a player of this level is very important.

“It’s true that our manager has a tremendous dilemma now about his midfield. But it’s a good one to have, to be able to choose players and have fantastic players on the bench that can come on and change a game.”

Mike Maguire

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