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Spain looking for World Cup semifinal first

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque sees something special ahead - like a World Cup title.

The next step is Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Surprisingly, Spain has never advanced to a semifinal match at a World Cup in four opportunities between 1934 and 2002. Standing in its way at Johannesburg's Ellis Park will be Paraguay, which is in its first World Cup final eight.

"We know we're in good shape," del Bosque said. "It's been more than 30 days together training as a team and I think these players want to make history."

Spain reached the final four at a World Cup at the quirky 1950 tournament, when only 13 teams showed up in Brazil. Four group winners advanced to a round-robin pool, which Uruguay won.

The other quarterfinal Saturday could be an ill-tempered affair, between Germany and Argentina at Cape Town. That match has had the juiciest of buildups, with both sides criticizing each other and talking trash. - AP


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