David Villa has insisted that anything other than winning the World Cup would leave Spain feeling as if they had “achieved nothing” in South Africa.

The European champions will make their first appearance in the tournament's last four on Wednesday, a record that contrasts markedly with that of their opponents. Germany are 12-time World Cup semi-finalists and are attempting to reach their eighth final, although Spain will call on their victory at Euro 2008 as inspiration for the meeting in Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Following up on their success in Austria and Switzerland has become this team's principal objective. “We beat Germany two years ago in the final, and I wouldn't have thought they'd be happy to meet us again,” Villa said. “But we have to forget about that game. Without a World Cup [win], it's like we've achieved nothing.”

Villa, who has scored five goals in these finals, is one short of Raul's Spanish record haul of 44 and is attempting to secure the golden boot for the second successive major tournament. “I am content with myself and my five goals, particularly because they have been decisive,” said the striker, who recently swapped Valencia for Barcelona.

“Scoring three goals in a 7-0 victory does not interest me as much. “In any case, I am not alone in helping Spain. Others are as well: without Iker Casillas's spectacular saves, my goal against Paraguay would have counted for little. If you were to say that I deserve the Ballon d'Or, he [Casillas] deserves it even more. I have always scored a lot in La Liga and with the national team. I now have 43 goals, one less than Raul. However, outside Spain, it appears I am now beginning to be recognised.” — © Guardian News and Media 2010

Keywords: 2010 World Cup

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