Spain – World Cup 2010 – Betting

Manager:Vicente Del Bosque
Captain: Iker Casillas
FIFA World Ranking: 2
World Cup Appearances: 12
Best World Cup: Fourth Place – 1950

Spain Team Profile

Ah, the silky Spaniards. The favourites to win South Africa’s show-piece event, the side no-one in their right mind will look forward to playing, as the former World No. 1 now turned World No. 2 seek out a sensational double after winning the 2008 European Championships in their last major tournament.

The Spanish will try to complete a double of major honours as they prepare for South Africa 2010 with the objective being to become the first European nation to back a European Championship success up with victory in the World Cup. However, to do so Spain will need to make their first ever World Cup final to even stand a chance of making even more records under Vicente Del Bosque. In fact the further Spain have ever got in a World Cup is the semi-finals, and even then it was on just the one occasions over a decade ago.

Times have changed though since 1950, the one and only time Spain made the semi-finals of a World Cup, and 2010 is surely the year when Spain at least break their duct of having never reached a World Cup final. 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 immaculate record, winning all 10 of their qualifiers – The only team with a perfect 100% record going to South Africa, while it was only last year their run of 35 games without loss came crashing to an end at the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Spain were widely known for being one of the biggest underachievers in International football but their success in the 2008 European Championships has put that unwanted tag to bed for the time being. However, big things are expected of the Spanish once again, and with one of the best squads in the tournament, the underachieving tag could come out of the closet should Spain not make serious inroads during their stay in South Africa.

Nicknames: La Furia Roja (The Red Fury), La Roja (The Red One)

Manager

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 moulded 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.

Spain Key Players

Iker Casillas

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.

David Villa & Fernando Torres

For most countries, one world-class striker is hard to come by. Spain, though, they have two of the World’s best forwards on the planet in Valencia’s prolific David Villa; a predator in and around the opposing penalty area, and Liverpool’s own Fernando Torres; a player with immense talent and the composure of mind to crate and score a goal from a seemingly impossible position. These two are menacing together, almost unstoppable when partnered, and it bodes well for Spain that two of the favourites for the Golden Shoe are in their team.

Fernando Torres has scored 23 goals in 72 games for Spain, which is actually on the slim side, but Villa more than makes up for Torres’ sloppy looking international record, scoring a staggering 36 goals in 55 caps for his country. To say these two have goals in them would be stating the obvious.

Xavi & Iniesta

The World’s most skilful 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.

Strengths

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. The good thing about Spain’s play is they can vary their style of play. 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 to Sergio Ramos & Capdevilla to whip the ball into the forwards. This makes reading the play very hard and is one of the reasons why Spain have become so successful in recent years.

Weaknesses

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

Sector: Europe
Group: 5
Position: 1st
Win-Draw-Lose: 10-0-0
Goals Scored: 28
Goals Conceded: 5

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’ve generally faltered on the biggest stage of the lot, in the World Cup, and the fact they’ve never even made a final before is a big concern, although Spain have never had a team as good as this and it would be criminal were they not to go close during the summer.

The Spanish are the favourites to win and rightly so; there odds to win outright underline this, but whether their class will equate into a World Cup victory remains to be seen. For one reason or another, we have our doubts. Remember, this is a country which hasn’t just never won the World Cup before they’ve never even made the final of a World Cup. Even so, stronger claims for the crown than most.

 

Spain World Cup Betting Odds

Spain to win the World Cup (before the final):      1/2 – Bwin

Before the World Cup the odds on Spain were 17/4 

Official Spain World Cup Squad

Goalkeepers

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

Jose Manuel Reina (Liverpool)

Victor Valdes (Barcelona)

 

Defenders

Raul Albiol (Real Madrid)

Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid)

Joan Capdevila (Villarreal)

Carlos Marchena (Valencia)

Gerard Pique (Barcelona)

Carles Puyol (Barcelona)

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

 

Midfielders

Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)

Francesc Fabregas (Arsenal)

Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

Javier Martínez (Athletic Bilbao)

David Silva (Valencia)

Xavi (Barcelona)

Jesus Navas (Sevilla)

 

Strikers

Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

David Villa (Valencia)

Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao)

 

Juan Manuel Mata (FC Valencia)

Pedro (FC Barcelona)

 

 

last update: 18 June 2010

 

World Cup 2010 Spain Fixtures – Group H

Date - Time Group Match Result
16/06 - 12.30 H Honduras - Chile 0-1
16/06 - 15.00 H Spain - Switzerland 0-1
21/06 - 15.00 H Chile - Switzerland 1-0
21/06 - 19.30 H Spain - Honduras 2-0
25/06 - 19.30 H Chile - Spain 1-2
25/06 - 19.30 H Switzerland - Honduras 0-0

29 June – 19.30 – Round of the last 16: Spain v Portugal: 1-0

03 July – 19.30 – Quarter Finals: Spain v Paraguay: 1-0

07 July – 19.30 – Semi Finals: Spain v Germany

11 July – 19.30 – World Cup Final: Spain v Holland

World Cup 2010 Group H - Table

Rank Team Matches / Points
1 Spain 3 Matches / 6 Points
2 Chile 3 Matches / 6 Points
3 Switzerland 3 Matches / 4 Points
4 Honduras 3 Matches / 1 Point

 World Cup Fixtures and Results

 

 



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