Iniesta - Spain must improve
Spain midfielder wary of Dutch threat ahead of World Cup final
By Jamie Casey. Last Updated: 10/07/10 5:26pm
Iniesta: World Cup final beckoning
Andres Iniesta admits Spain will have to up their game in Sunday's World Cup final if they are to lift the trophy for the first time.
Despite reaching the tournament's last stage, Vicente del Bosque's men have failed to make the most of their possession football, with three successive 1-0 wins doing little to live up to their billing.
However, only Holland stand in their way of success when the two meet in Johannesburg on Sunday as the world awaits a first-time winner of the game's biggest prize.
Resilient, patient displays, along with joint-top scorer David Villa's exploits, have got the Spaniards this far, but Barcelona midfielder Iniesta knows they may have to find new methods to defeat an impressive Dutch side.
"We will play better because we will probably have to if we are going to win the World Cup," said the 26-year-old.
"What we did in the semi-final certainly won't help us to win the final. But I have confidence in my team-mates and I think this group is able to take the final step."
Iniesta admits playing in a World Cup final will be a dream come true, but insists it will count for nothing if he does not end up on the winning side.
"This is a historic event, a unique opportunity for us all," he said. "It makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up just thinking about it.
"We have all dreamed of this moment. But we have to finish the dream. We cannot celebrate anything yet.
"Before us is the challenge of winning a World Cup. We are cautious because we know that we still have the last step, and that last step is the most difficult and the most beautiful."
Should Spain emerge victorious, they will become the first side in the history of the competition to lose their opening game yet go on to lift the trophy.
A 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in their first game threw Spain's credentials in doubt, but Iniesta believes the defeat helped the squad pull together as they realised their lack of room for error from then on.
"The initial defeat against Switzerland upset us all," he said.
"It was the first game and from that moment we had no margin for error. We knew we could not fail. I hope it proves to be the only game we lose."