Ferrer needed almost five hours to defeat Kohlschreiber 7-6 (1), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 4-6, 7-5 at the packed bull ring in Valencia, guaranteeing Spain's return to the semifinals for the first time since 2012.
"It's positive of course, winning in straight sets, it was a solid match".
France has now won six consecutive Davis Cup ties, two shy of their all-time record win streak from 2000-2002. "It's always special to play in these arenas", added Nadal, who has played in four of Spain's five Davis Cup-winning teams.
"We were having a tough time settling down and settling into a rhythm because the points were really short".
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But Nadal kept up his end of the bargain on Sunday and the 36-year-old Ferrer showed all of his trademark never-say-die qualities to keep Spain's hopes of a sixth Davis Cup title alive.
Germany raced into a two-set lead but with world number one Rafael Nadal roaring on his team mates, Spain fought back to force a fifth set at a packed Plaza de Toros in Valencia. "We ended up winning a pretty comfortable breaker and from that I felt like we were pretty much on top and we just had to finish it off".
Spain squandered five break points in the eighth game of the decider and they ultimately paid the price when Marc Lopez, drafted in to replace an injured Pablo Carreno Busta, was broken three games later.
Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert had cruised to a straight-sets victory over Fognini and Simone Bolelli in the doubles on Saturday to put France in control, despite Fognini's bad-tempered four-set win against Jeremy Chardy.
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John Isner, fresh from his triumph in Miami, will line up for the United States at home to Belgium while Croatia, with Wimbledon runner-up Marin Cilic in their ranks, face Kazakhstan in Varazdin.
Tomorrow, Nadal will go toe-to-toe with Alexander Zverev, the world number four widely seen as heir apparent to the great Spaniard.
France won Saturday's doubles to lead 2-1 and Lucas Pouille secured the win in the fourth match by beating Fabio Fognini 2-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.
Defending champions France go to Genoa to tackle Italy who are contesting their 250th Davis Cup tie.
Mame Diouf ends goal drought as Tottenham Hotspur defeat Stoke City
Newcastle dented Leicester's bid to qualify for the Europa League with a 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium. Burnley kept their excellent recent run going as they came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Watford .