Xavi hoping to reign with Spain

Goalscoring hero Xavi warned Germany ahead of tomorrow’s Euro 2008 final that “no-one can stop” Spain if they continue to play at their best.

The Spanish are sky high after Thursday night’s 3-0 semi-final victory over Russia, a result that put the team into the championship game of a major tournament for the first time in 24 years.

Xavi, who scored Spain’s first in the second half, said: “It was a very important goal for me and it gave us calmness.

“None of us had the experience of playing in a European semi-final.

“On Sunday we have another chance to make history.

“I think when we play one-touch football no-one can stop us.”

European champions in 1964 in Madrid, the Spaniards have been branded the game’s biggest underachievers on the international stage ever since – something that will not change unless they overcome the Germans.

“Germany are a very solid team with great experience,” said Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso.

“But in a final there’s no clear favourite, anything can happen.

“What we want is to play well and deserve the title.”

Spain will have to do without the tournament’s leading goalscorer David Villa, who has been ruled out of the final with a muscular injury.

Villa, who has struck four times for Spain in Austria and Switzerland, got hurt in the first half against Russia.

His absence is a setback for Luis Aragones’ men.

“It’s a pity that Villa can’t play in the final because he has been a crucial player for us with his goals,” said Alonso.

“Now I hope we can lift the cup for him.”

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