Semifinal Preview: Germans
Ready For Their Klose
One Great Season
The poor form of Fernando Torres may see him relegated to the bench for Wednesday's World Cup semifinal against Germany. It appears Pedro will get the start instead.
Spain should boast a full complement otherwise, minus the injured Raul Albiol, who wouldn't have played anyway. The Germans are without winger Thomas Mueller, who is the latest victim of FIFA's parade of officiating ineptitude. Shame. Toni Kroos is the mooted replacement on the right.
Torres has yet to score this tournament. If he continues goalless, he'll join Wayne Rooney, Kaka and Lionel Messi as superstars who failed to find the net.
+ Speaking of players who are actually scoring, two Golden Boot contenders go head-to-head Wednesday: Spain's David Villa (5 goals) and Germany's Miroslav Klose (4).
+ On the subject of Klose's scoring prowess, the Poland-born striker needs only two goals to eclipse Ronaldo's World Cup record of 15. He's currently on par with countryman Gerd Müller (14), while France's Just Fontaine (13) and Pele (12) are left in the dust. Klose hasn't exactly captured the imaginations of football purists, who would prefer that Ronaldo's violent poetry remains forever ahead of the German's inaesthetic penalty-box poaching as a reflection of goalscoring greatness.
+ The Guardian has commented that this Germany-Spain matchup is a role reversal of their meeting in the finals of Euro 2008, in which Spain were the idealistic young spark plugs and Germany were chafing under the burden of expectation.
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