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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group H - Spain

Nickname – La Furia Roja (The Red Fury), La Roja (The Red One)

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Spoke already about flawless Netherlands, but what praise left is there for Spain? A team that wins the European Championship and keeps the same squad rolling on and on must have something special. That’s Del Bosque’s squad. David Villa stroke 7 goals in possible 28 in total in 10 triumphs out of 10 games. The same form they had for the qualifying stage they still keep it in the preparations matches. Can they cruise past the Quarter-Finals this time? Why Not!

H2H

Jun 16 Durban Spain v Switzerland - No lucky for Switzerland. They will take the Rolexes and the chocolates but the win will stay with Spain. Out of the 18 encounters the best they could do was to get 3 draws and losing 15 times against the European Champions and hot candidate to win this world cup.

Jun 21 Johannesburg Spain v Honduras - Would you believe? Beyond their 100+ km/h shots that Honduran players strike, they must be one of the fewest nations not to have lost with Spain. Even though they only met once, it was in the World Cup 1982 in Spain. They managed to stay in last position of the group only to lose once in the 3 matches played.

Jun 25 Pretoria Chile v Spain - No “Chili” to spice things up against Spain. Spain 6 wins against 0 from Chile in a staggering 18-3 goal difference.

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona)

Defenders: Raúl Albiol (Real Madrid), Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Joan Capdevila (Villarreal), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Gerard Piqué (Barcelona), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Cesc Fàbregas (Arsenal), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), Javier Martínez (Athletic Bilbao), David Silva (Valencia), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona)

Strikers: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Juanma Mata (Valencia), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Liverpool), David Villa (Valencia)

FORMATION

Del Bosque’s successful 4-4-2 based on the synergies of their prolific midfielders is the elected formation. Casillas; Sergio Ramos, Puyol, Capdevila, Pique; Xavy, Iniesta, David Silva/Navas, Fabregas/Xabi Alonson/Mata; Torres & Villa.

BEST PLAYERS

Villa plays for Barcelona and this season has made 36 goals in 50 matches being essential for both club & nation. Before & after being the top scorer in the Euro 2008 Villa keep scoring and scoring goals like a videogame. Playing offensively from the wings or in the center depending on what Del Bosque wishes he combines with Torres for the most prolific partnership of forwards in the world. Clinical finishing is in his blood and never goes out of fashion. Being very fast alongside with his unpredictability he is one of the few present at the world cup where bets should be placed as to whom will be the top scorer of this major competition.

Torres, “el Nino” from Liverpool that has scored 23 goals out of 37 matches despite his recurrent injury. He knows how to score goals like a Michelin star guide Chèf knows how to cook amazing meals. His ingredients are the pace, intelligence, aerial & technique ability, cold-blooded ahead of goal and a flawless positioning. Top tipped for the best scorer in this World Cup.

Watch out for Jesus Navas as well as he will be a very positive surprise.

SURPRISE

The surprise omissions are Guiza the coach’s favorite, euro 2008’s savior Marcos Senna and quick winger Santi Cazorla.

STATEMENTS

"We've got good players and a well-oiled team, but there are some very strong sides out there. Our aim is to challenge for the next World Cup but we know how difficult it is. We're not the favourites but we are among the hopefuls." Vicente del Bosque, Spain coach.

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- Vicente Del Bosque –

2 UEFA Champions League – Real Madrid – 2000, 2002;

1 European Supercup – Real Madrid - 2002;

1 Intercontinental Cup – Real Madrid – 2002;

2 La Liga – Real Madrid – 2001, 2003;

2 Supercopa – Real Madrid – 1993, 2001;

Career made of 292 matches with 57% Win, 22% Draw, 21% Loss, GS 2,07 GA 1,15

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – Being the European Champion. From the last 5 matches played against World Cup competition has not lost a single one and took time to beat Del Bosque’s squad. They play like kids in the streets in early stages, passing on and on dominating in a powerful way before bringing the poison into their objective attack being unbeatable once they get ahead in the match. Having the most stunning stars in your team will give you the edge to shine and place you in the favorite candidates to win the World Cup.

Weaknesses – Winning the ball ahead by pressuring high on the field so that you could launch a strong counter attack and get ahead in the match will bring hard times to Spain. They know how to win but know not how to lose. They get too nervous when they take longer to score an opening goal so much that they start to open spaces and making defensive forced mistakes. Due to the fact of they are not that strong in terms of body building they fear opponents that play more under a physical approach.

Opportunities – They have the easiest task of all groups to advance in the first position case they display their storming and attractive football. Finishing first place will avoid potentially the likes of Brazil in the second round phase.

Threats – They are their worst enemy. When they play anxiously they tend to lose focus.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Number 2 in the World. Just behind Brazil.

ACHIEVEMENTS

2 UEFA European Championships – 1964, 2008;

1 Olympic Gold Medal – 1992.

CASTROL INDEX

LATEST 10 MATCHES

Spain 3 2 South Africa

Macedonia 2 3 Spain

Spain 5 0 Belgium

Spain 3 0 Estonia

Armenia 1 2 Spain

Bosnia 2 5 Spain

Spain 2 1 Argentina

Austria 1 5 Spain

France 0 2 Spain

Spain 3 2 Saudi Arabia

Spain 1 0 South Korea


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