Spain – World Cup 2014 – Betting
Manager:Vicente Del Bosque
Captain: Iker Casillas
FIFA World Ranking: 1
World Cup Appearances: 13
Best World Cup: Winners 2010
Spain Team Profile
Ah, the silky Spaniards. The favourites to win South Africa’s show-piece event in 2010 duly obliged. They are still a side no-one in their right mind will look forward to playing, as the World No. 1 seek out a sensational double after their success four years ago. They did it with back to back European Championship titles, so why not at the World Cup? They have firmly established themselves as one of the greats over the course of the last six years and now this golden generation of Spanish football still have the chance to shine one more time.
It’s been one World Cup final and one victory for Spain and you get the feeling that if their experience gets them back there, then they will be hard to stop. Their squad is lined with world-beaters, some of football’s biggest names, and under the wise old knowledge and guidance of Del Bosque, this Spanish team is arguably the best there has ever been.
They sailed through qualifying with an unbeaten record, holding off the challenge of France in their qualifiers. They went to South Africa 2010 with a perfect qualification record, it didn’t quite happen this time around, but they are still one of the teams to be fears. No longer are they the underachievers of World football and big things are expected of the Spanish once again, with one of the best squads in the tournament.
Nicknames: La Furia Roja (The Red Fury), La Roja (The Red One)
Vicente Del Bosque is a veteran in his managerial career and is not short of a success or two either. In his playing career, he spent all his days as a defender, winning five Spanish La Liga titles with Spanish giants Real Madrid. He then went on to manage Real Madrid after he hung up his playing boots and led the club to their most successful period between 1999-2003, winning a brace of Champions League titles along with two La Liga titles.
Del Bosque‘s also has bags of experience when it comes to managing ‘big players’. Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo were all under his guidance while at Real Madrid and molded the three legends of football into a world class act. He will be aiming to do the same with Spain and he certainly has a host of quality players at his disposal. He has adapted and grown with the Spanish squad through tournaments, tweaking the tempo of play in accordance to his main crop of players. Forever will he be a legend with Spain as the first man to win them the World Cup and a second is in sight.
Spain Key Players
There has been an ongoing debate for some time about who is the best goalkeeper in the world but for the last decade or so, Iker Casillas has always been in the frame. He has been Real Madrid’s best ever goalkeeper and arguably Spain’s greatest ever, also. Lightening fast reactions, quick reflexes and his immense presence in his own penalty area makes for one of the worlds finest goalkeepers and when Casillas is on top of his game, it really does take something extraordinary to beat him.
Xavi & Iniesta
The World’s most skillful players often enjoy the limelight in football today but if you ask any football purist who they think the best player in the world is, we bet these two would get an awful lot of mentions. The pair have the ability to not only control a match but also dictate the tempo at which it will be played. They take the game by the scruff of the neck and make things happen with their swift one-two’s and their inch-perfect through balls. The duet are a lethal combination at both club and international level, and because they both play for Barcelona, the chemistry between the two is perfection. If you want to halt the Spanish express, you’ll need to find a way to stop the source; Xavi & Iniesta.
The Atletico Madrid star has had a stunning season domestically and big things will be expected of him in the Spain squad. He only made his debut early in 2014 after becoming available for them through residency. The Brazilian born striker is a tremendous hard worker, fights for everything and plays with a real fire in his belly. A world class striker, and if Spain integrate him into the side seamlessly, he can provide the scoring touch to get them close to a title defence.
Spain‘s biggest asset is their ability to retain the ball. Quick and slick should be their motto. Their crisp passing doesn’t just get them out of sticky situations but it also creates chance after chance and it’s a defenders nightmare keeping up with the pace of Spain’s passing. They switch the flank at every opportunity in a bid to expose the opposing full-backs and their own full-backs forward and they will look to bombard the defence with crosses. One moment they will be feeling out the oppositions defence with the short, crisp passing while the next they’ll be flinging the ball out wide to whip the ball into the forwards. You know they are going to keep the ball, you know what is coming, but it is still hard to stop.
Spain‘s passing maybe close to perfection but they’re a side who can pass the ball around too much in a bid to score the ‘perfect goal’. Spain generally don’t have a problem against sides that attack them, despite their defence not being the strongest, but when a team sets up in a defensive manner and puts 10 men behind the ball, Spain can often struggle to break these teams down. Too much time is wasted in the centre of the park and were a big side to go one-nil up, it’s feasible that they could then hold out the Spanish attacks and use Spain’s strength to their advantage.
Spain Qualification for the World Cup
Goals Scored: 14
Goals Conceded: 3
World Cup Potential: 5/5
Spain, with the array of talent within their midst, really should be targeting at least a semi-final, of not a final appearance as their squad is just too strong not to make serious progression in South Africa. The pressure, though, on Spain is massive and it remains to be seen just how the Spain players deal with the intense pressure and the expectations of a nation. They are proven winners and while they struggled for goals during qualification they could now have the answer to that in Diego Costa.
Spain World Cup Betting Odds
Spain to win the World Cup: 7/1 – Bwin
Before the World Cup the odds on Spain were 7/1
Spain World Cup 2014 Fixtures – Group B
|Fr 13th June||20.00||Spain v Holland||1:5|
|Fr 13th June||23.00||Chile v Australia||3:1|
|We 18th June||17.00||Australia v Holland||2:3|
|We 18th June||20.00||Spain v Chile||0:2|
|Mo 23rd June||17.00||Australia v Spain||0:3|
|Mo 23rd June||17.00||Holland v Chile||2:0|
World Cup 2014 Group B Table