By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Spain stand on the verge of a historic third straight major trophy - they won Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010 - but incredibly have been criticised for their footballing philosophy.
Vicente del Bosque's Euro 2012 squad have been branded by some as 'boring' for the way they keep the ball without creating as many chances as previous Spain sides in the past.
In fact, Spain have opted to play some games without a striker at times with midfielder Cesc Fabregas deployed as the furthest man forward.
Wigan manager Martinez is fine with the idea and believes it is simply a sign of Spain maturing into a team which has become even harder to beat than before.
On the other hand, former Barcelona striker Kluivert has bemoaned the lack of a traditional forward and called on Del Bosque to start Sunday's final with Pedro or Fernando Torres.
In defense of the 'false nine'
"The criticism shouldn't be about Spain - it should be about the teams they play against," Martinez told The Sun.
"People don't realise that it is all about stopping Spain. That's a compliment to them.
"But if you look through history, the hardest habit in football is to win when you are expected to win.
"We have seen that with them over three tournaments. Once you get into a special status, the opposition can try anything they want to beat you.
"Whatever nation you are, you are allowed to have 11 players behind the ball, you are allowed to defend in your own box, you're allowed to not create anything. And that is when Spain comes into a different level, by winning."
Martinez did concede though that Spain were perhaps not the better side during their goalless semi-final draw against Portugal - the defending champions only sneaking through to the final via a 4-2 win on penalties.
"Yes, in the semi-final, Portugal were a better side. But, even then, Spain never made the wrong decisions, they never left themselves exposed," he said.
"They kept a fantastic shape and they gave themselves the chance to win. Portugal played as well as they can - and still lost."
Martinez added: "What you need to understand is that Spain has got a real strong philosophy.
"That philosophy is how they keep the ball. How they are patient, how they play from the back and expose teams, how they defend.
"They are not worse than 2008, they are better. It was easier to beat them in 2008. They are mature, they don't get exposed."
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On the attack - strikers cause problems for defenders
"Whenever Del Bosque has utilised Torres or Pedro, they have complicated the task for opposing defenders with their runs and their dribbles," Kluivert commented on marca.com.
"It is more unpredictable to have two forwards and it disrupts their defensive plan."
He also criticised La Furia Roja's penchant for focusing mainly on maintaining possession, which many have derided as being unentertaining and slow. He thinks that with the talent available, Spain should be testing the opposition far more frequently.
"When you use Fabregas as a 'false nine', you want to dominate the midfield. But when he plays like this, everyone is focused on keeping the ball and no one looks for areas of space to run into.
"I believe that it's easier for defenders to keep a track of players and hold their defense.
"I think that this new Spanish system asks less of the opposition than the strength of the squad is really capable of doing."
Del Bosque will make the final decision
With Sunday approaching, Spain boss Del Bosque will have to decide if he will employ a strikerless formation in one of the most coveted tournament finals in world football.
He employed Torres against the Republic of Ireland and Alvaro Negredo against Portugal but could very well play Fabregas in the now-famous 4-6-0 formation.
Only the former Real Madrid manager can make the final decision.