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Spanish Football Team at World Cup 2010

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Spain World Cup Profile

Next up, we reach our final group of the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. To begin with the examination of Group H, we start by looking at Spain and its national football team, La Furia Roja.

Spain – The country, the football

View of a beach in SpainThe Kingdom of Spain, best known as Spain (or España in Spanish), is a powerful European country. It is located in the southwestern part of the continent, and it is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, France, Andorra, the Bay of Biscay, the Atlantic Ocean, and Portugal. The Spanish land also comprises the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, as well as two independent cities in North Africa: Ceuta and Melilla.

It is the second biggest territory in Western Europe with a total area of about 504,030 km2, and it has a population which is estimated to be of 46,661,950 people. Speaking of football in Spain, the sport is among the country’s most benefitting subject.

The Spanish national football team – also called La Furia Roja (meaning the “The Red Fury” in English), or La Roja (meaning “The Red” in English) – is arguably the most successful and dangerous side in the world nowadays.

 

The 2010 FIFA World Cup participants enjoyed a record of 35 matches unbeaten in a row between 2007 and 2009, and as winners of the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament, Spain entered the 2009 Confederations Cup loaded of expectations from their fans all over the world. Spain unfortunately ended their undefeated run in that tournament, following a 2-0 defeat to the United States on June 24, 2009. Still, the Spanish national football team returned to Madrid with bronze medals.

Now, being classified among the top seeds of the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa, Spain are hoping to rule over the world for the first time ever in their history. The Spanish are often criticized to be underachievers. Will they prove their critics wrong this time out?

Spain – The road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finalsSpain reach the 2010 World Cup. The fans are excited.

Considering their nice contribution in football over the previous years, in addition to their favorable position in the FIFA World Rankings in 2007, Spain could eventually be seeded nowhere other than in Pot A ahead of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers in the European zone. Spain were seeded in Pot A along with title holders Italy, former World Cup hosts Germany, plus the Czech Republic, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, Croatia, and Euro 2004 champions Greece; and therefore, these were countries La Roja could not receive in their qualifying table afterward.

After the draw in the South African city of Durban on the 25th of November 2007, Spain landed in Group 5, followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Belgium, Estonia, and Armenia. On September 6, 2008 Spain played their first match at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Murcia. They narrowly edged 1-0 past their visitors subsequent to a goal from David Villa on 58 minutes.


The result of their next qualifier 4 days later proved to be much better, as Capdevilla, Villa, and Senna powered their side to a 4-0 home win over Armenia at the Estadio Carlos Belmonte in Albacete. Again David Villa got his name on the scoring sheet for La Roja a month later when Spain travelled to Estonia to beat their opponents 3-0. The striker didn’t fail to shine in his following challenge away to Belgium, whom they defeated 2-1 thanks to his late winner.

On March 28, 2009 Spain humbled Turkey by a goal to nil at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. In the return leg encounter on April 1, a 63rd minute penalty from Spain’s Alonso cancelled the Turkish’s lead which Semih had previously offered to his side, before Riera scored an injury time winner to keep La Furia Roja’s 100% record in their World Cup qualification.

On September 5, 2009 Silva and Villa got 2 goals each in their match against Belgium, and with the help of their country mate Pique who also scored, La Roja were able to register a convincing 5-0 victory. Cesc Fabregas then lived up to expectations with 2 goals in 2 consecutive wins for his country against Estonia and Armenia, as Spain won 3-0 and 2-1 respectively.

Bosnia and Herzegovina finally managed to trouble the Spanish defense in the last match-day of qualification in the European zone. They placed the ball at the back of the net twice, despite losing 5-2 after 90 minutes of proceedings.

In the end, Spain got a maximum of 30 points in 10 games, and they consequently topped their table 11 points ahead of runners-up Bosnia and Herzegovina – only to grab tickets for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa in the easiest way.

Spain's Alvero Arbeloa celebrating with a team mate as he scores his side's fifth goal against Belgium.Spain – 2010 FIFA World Cup group stage

As the top European country in the FIFA World Rankings in October 2009, Spain were seeded in Pot A before the final draw for the 2010 World Cup group stage. On December 4, 2009 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Spain were drawn in Group H, alongside Switzerland, Honduras, and Chile.

Obviously, considering the draw, the Spanish team is very much likely to enter the next round of the tournament. But now, the question is “how easy will be their qualification into the knockout phase?”.

This is what we are about to predict as we briefly analyze the challenges that stand their way from their very first match, till their last meeting in the group stage.

Match-day 1: Spain vs Switzerland

Spain will play against Switzerland at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, on June 16, at 16:00 local time.

The Swiss were definitely not as impressive as the Spanish in their qualification for the 2010 World Cup, yet, they were still capable of securing an automatic place in the finals with 21 points. The Under 17 Swiss national football team somehow stole the 2009 U-17 FIFA World Cup trophy in Nigeria, and this was undeniably a surprise to the whole public following the tournament.

In the same way, the senior national team of Switzerland could do wonders in South Africa, and just as their junior side shocked Brazil in their way to the final, the senior side could surprise Spain in their first World Cup match. As a result, La Roja will need to be alert and firm against a dangerous Swiss side that managed to secure a 1-1 draw in a friendly match against Italy earlier on June 5.

Match-day 2: Spain vs Honduras

Spain will then meet Honduras at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, on June 21, at 20:30 local time.

CONCACAF members Honduras are truly rising at international level, and they did much better than many expected in their qualification for the World Cup. They are however yet to get their name among the top teams in the FIFA World Ranking, but Spain already know how tough a country from CONCACAF can be.

La Roja would ultimately prefer to take control of this game right from the very start, in order to lessen the pressure until the referee’s final whistle.

Match-day 3: Chile vs Spain

Finally, Spain will play as the away side against Chile at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, on June 25, at 18:30 GMT.

In a few words, Chile are a very impressive South American side, and they proved it by qualifying into the World Cup finals with only a single point behind top seeds Brazil.

Perhaps, Spain wouldn’t want to get themselves into trouble. Therefore the one and only solution by which they could prevent misery from hitting them will be to play with full concentration, at full strength.

Spain – Quick Analysis: Expectations from the country and its top starsSpain's Iker Casillas saves a penalty against Italy.

Spain’s national team currently consists of several stars, and in fact, talented Spanish players are even so numerous that choosing 23 final players to feature at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa is a tricky task.

Still, Coach Vicente del Bosque has a lot of options in front him when it comes to selecting his squad for the tournament, and surely, there are certain key players (mostly from Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Valencia) whom he wouldn’t want to leave out from his selection.

Iker Casillas:

The Real Madrid goalkeeper is a very experienced footballer. Having started featuring for his country in 1996 for the U15 side, Casillas kept growing up, and in 2000, he was eligible for a position in the Spanish senior national football team.

Since then, Casillas has appeared over 100 times for La Roja, and it was partly his out-of-this-world reflex which helped his country to brilliantly succeed in the UEFA Euro 2008 Championship.

The captain of La Roja – who was included in the Spanish squad that traveled to Germany in 2006 – was very instrumental in Spain’s qualification for the 2010 World Cup finals, and his quick hands will obviously be needed by his team in South Africa, should La Furia Roja defend their goal line with willingness.

Carlos Puyol:

The Barcelona captain and defender is the rock of the Spanish defense, and his strength at the back has been really worrying for opposing forwards at both club and international level. After living great moments with Barca and La Roja in 2008 and 2009, the stopper is ready to be praised again at the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.

The veteran center-back has appeared about 80 times for Spain since 2000, and with such a great achievement, his expertise in the Spanish national football team can certainly not be put into doubts.

Spain's David Villa, Xavi Hernandez, and Andres Iniesta pictured as they lineup for their country in honor of Spain's national anthem.Xavi Hernández and Andres Iniesta:

Xavi has received so many individual awards since 2008, and the current UEFA Club Midfielder of the Year has also held so many trophies in recent years. The 2009 Ballon d’Or nominee collected 6 cups with FC Barcelona in 2009, and the UEFA Euro 2008 honor with Spain in 2008.

His presence in the Spanish national team has been very useful, as he hasn’t stopped showing his abilities when it comes to passing, crossing, and recovering; fortunately, Xavi is expected to have a very nice partnership with club and country mate Iniesta in South Africa.

Iniesta was also in the teams that received glory in 2008 and 2009 alongside Xavi, and the Barcelona midfielder was also a nominee for the Ballon d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards in 2009.

He has played a great role for Spain since making his entry in the national team in 2006, and considering the fact that he has been training regularly with Xavi in Barcelona for years now, one could look ahead to a great organization in the Spanish midfield in South Africa.

Fernando Torres and David Villa:Spain's Fernando Torres celebrating near the corner flag after
scoring against Germany in the final of Euro 2008.

Fernando Torres is a Liverpool and Premier League star. Torres scored 50 goals in about 70 matches for the Reds, and 23 goals for La Roja in approximately the same amount of matches.

The Spanish striker scored his country’s winning goal in the final of the UEFA Euro 2008 against Germany, and since then, he has been regarded as one of football’s greatest strikers ever.

The Premier League icon is expected to get the support of Valencia star David Villa in South Africa, as Spanish fans look ahead to an unshakable front. David Villa was Spain’s top scorer during his country’s World Cup qualification with 7 goals, and his partnership with Torres in the UEFA Euro 2008 finals was totally admirable.

Villa has appeared over 50 times for his national team. Yet, he has outstandingly scored over 30 goals, including 3 in the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany. Fernando Torres and David Villa can thus have reasons to believe that they will nicely assume their responsibility in the summer of 2010, and in reality, a good combination from both players will significantly boost the power of La Roja in the World Cup tournament.

Spain – Current 2010 FIFA World Cup squad

Goalkeepers:

Victor Valdes; Jose Manuel Reina; Iker Casillas

Defenders:

Sergio Ramos; Carles Puyol; Gerard Piqué; Carlose Marchena; Joan Capdevila; Alvaro Arbeloa; Raul Albiol

Midfielders:

Xavi Hernandez; Javi Martinez; Andres Iniesta; Cesc Fabregas; Sergio Busquets; Xabi Alonso

Forwards:

David Villa; Fernando Torres; Fernando Llorente; Pedro Rodriguez; Juan Manuel Mata; Jesus Navas Gonzalez; David Jiminez Silva

Spain Coach Vicente del Bosque ready to give out a ball to the players on the pitch.Spain – Relevant Quote

Vicente del Bosque: “We need to go out there and prove we are favorites”

Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque is yet to be taken away by complacency. According to the manager, it would be useless to take any of his opponents in Group H for granted. Here is his quote on this matter:

“It is not surprising people select us as favorites in our group, but what is more important is to prove it on the field. We cannot underestimate any team… all of them are meaningful to us.

"Chile have very good players, and they finished a point behind Brazil (during the qualifiers), which tells you how dangerous they are. Honduras were great during their qualification, but as for Switzerland, we are a little bit more familiar with them. Still, we need to work hard and make sure we are completely ready for our first game.”

Spain – World Cup Record

The Spanish national football side has qualified for the FIFA World Cup tournament 13 times overall, and below is their record in the competition’s history:

2010: Qualified as participants

2006, 1990: Round of 16

2002. 1994, 1986, 1934: Quarterfinals

1998, 1978, 1966, 1962: Round 1

1982: Round 2

1950: Fourth Place

Keep in touch with LiveSoccerTV.com for a detailed coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament between June 11 and July 11. Follow Spain's progress on this site!
 

 

 

Spain World Cup Videos

Video highlights will be available after first match ends.

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FIFA World Cup

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Group A
14 Jun 11:00Moscow
Russia vs Saudi Arabia
15 Jun 8:00Yekaterinburg
Egypt vs Uruguay
19 Jun 14:00Saint Petersburg
Russia vs Egypt
20 Jun 11:00Rostov-on-Don
Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia
25 Jun 10:00Volgograd
Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
25 Jun 10:00Samara
Uruguay vs Russia
Group B
15 Jun 11:00Saint Petersburg
Morocco vs Iran
15 Jun 14:00Sochi
Portugal vs Spain
20 Jun 8:00Moscow
Portugal vs Morocco
20 Jun 14:00Kazan
Iran vs Spain
25 Jun 14:00Saransk
Iran vs Portugal
25 Jun 14:00Kaliningrad
Spain vs Morocco
Group C
16 Jun 6:00Kazan
France vs Australia
16 Jun 12:00Saransk
Peru vs Denmark
21 Jun 8:00Samara
Denmark vs Australia
21 Jun 11:00Yekaterinburg
France vs Peru
26 Jun 10:00Sochi
Australia vs Peru
26 Jun 10:00Moscow
Denmark vs France
Group D
16 Jun 9:00Moscow
Argentina vs Iceland
16 Jun 15:00Kaliningrad
Croatia vs Nigeria
21 Jun 14:00Nizhny Novgorod
Argentina vs Croatia
22 Jun 11:00Volgograd
Nigeria vs Iceland
26 Jun 14:00Rostov-on-Don
Iceland vs Croatia
26 Jun 14:00Saint Petersburg
Nigeria vs Argentina
Group E
17 Jun 8:00Samara
Costa Rica vs Serbia
17 Jun 14:00Rostov-on-Don
Brazil vs Switzerland
22 Jun 8:00Saint Petersburg
Brazil vs Costa Rica
22 Jun 14:00Kaliningrad
Serbia vs Switzerland
27 Jun 14:00Moscow
Serbia vs Brazil
27 Jun 14:00Nizhny Novgorod
Switzerland vs Costa Rica
Group F
17 Jun 11:00Moscow
Germany vs Mexico
18 Jun 8:00Nizhny Novgorod
Sweden vs Korea Republic
23 Jun 11:00Rostov-on-Don
Korea Republic vs Mexico
23 Jun 14:00Sochi
Germany vs Sweden
27 Jun 10:00Kazan
Korea Republic vs Germany
27 Jun 10:00Yekaterinburg
Mexico vs Sweden
Group G
18 Jun 11:00Sochi
Belgium vs Panama
18 Jun 14:00Volgograd
Tunisia vs England
23 Jun 8:00Moscow
Belgium vs Tunisia
24 Jun 8:00Nizhny Novgorod
England vs Panama
28 Jun 14:00Kaliningrad
England vs Belgium
28 Jun 14:00Saransk
Panama vs Tunisia
Group H
19 Jun 8:00Saransk
Colombia vs Japan
19 Jun 11:00Moscow
Poland vs Senegal
24 Jun 11:00Yekaterinburg
Japan vs Senegal
24 Jun 14:00Kazan
Poland vs Colombia
28 Jun 10:00Volgograd
Japan vs Poland
28 Jun 10:00Samara
Senegal vs Colombia
Knockout Stage

Round of 16
30 Jun 10:00Kazan
[1C] vs [2D]
30 Jun 14:00Sochi
[1A] vs [2B]
1 Jul 10:00Moscow
[1B] vs [2A]
1 Jul 14:00Nizhny Novgorod
[1D] vs [2C]
Round of 16
2 Jul 10:00Samara
[1E] vs [2F]
2 Jul 14:00Rostov-on-Don
[1G] vs [2H]
3 Jul 10:00Saint Petersburg
[1F] vs [2E]
3 Jul 14:00Moscow
[1H] vs [2G]
Quarter Final
6 Jul 10:00Nizhny Novgorod
[W49] vs [W50]
6 Jul 14:00Kazan
[W53] vs [W54]
7 Jul 10:00Samara
[W55] vs [W56]
7 Jul 14:00Sochi
[W51] vs [W52]
Semi-final
10 Jul 14:00Saint Petersburg
[W57] vs [W58]
11 Jul 14:00Moscow
[W59] vs [W60]
Third place match
14 Jul 10:00Saint Petersburg
[L61] vs [L62]
Final
15 Jul 11:00Moscow
Final: FIFA World Cup 2018