World Cup Fever

World Cup Profile: Spain

Not all of these men will play

Spain

Of course, Spain look like the most likely winners of the World Cup this year, but who ARE these strange and intriguing people? Read on to find out…

Form Guide

The favourites to win the tournament, and unsurprisingly. They won Euro 2008, they blitzed their way through the qualifiers, scoring almost three goals/game while they were at it, and they’ve got some wonderful players in their ranks. But, don’t get too carried away – they’ve never won the thing, they used to be notorious big-stage chokers, and remember what Mourinho’s Inter did to Barcelona in the Champions League? It’s not quite in the bag. You can back them at odds of around 9/2 on Betfair.

Classic World Cup Moment

The team has never quite done it on the World Cup stage, hence their finest moment – as a country – would probably be hosting the 1982 World Cup, which came complete with some pretty marvelous goals. Observe.

Main Man

This is a team that’s pretty rich in quality. Casillas will be important when it comes to keeping them out, Villa and Torres know exactly where the goal is at the other end. But it’s the little Barca men Xavi and Iniesta who really make the team tick. At a push, Xavi would probably be the main man.

Working Class Hero

To look at him with his stylish haircuts, and his cosmopolitan bottom lip micro-beard, you wouldn’t have David Villa pegged as a once young peasant boy from a humble mining village called Tuilla. And yet, that’s exactly what he is. An example to us all.

Rich Kid

From the rather more swishy end of the spectrum is the defender/author Gerard Pique, who comes from a long line of rather wealthy Catalans. His dad is a lawyer, his mum a successful director of a medical institute, and granddad was once the vice-president of Barcelona FC. How very posh.

Best Nickname

It’s commonly regarded that Villa and Torres are probably the most feared football twosome in the world. And yet, their nicknames somewhat defy their combined threat, with Torres as “El Nino” (“The Kid”) and Villa known as “El Guage” (erm, also “The Kid”, but in the Asturian dialect). Cringe! Same name! But seriously, these men are hardly toddlers.

Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s nearly impossible to spot an obvious weakness is the Spanish side, and there seems to be plenty of strength in depth. Much like the Barcelona team, they like to pass teams to death, so they can become slightly ruffled against burly sides who just want to beat them up. But, really, that’s clutching at straws. Much will depend on whether they continue with their recent run, or hark back to the days of being big tournament bottlers.

Current Number One in Spain

Edward Maya, Stereo Love

To show your support…

Those who have enjoyed summering in Spain will know all about how it’s done. You get yourself a big jug of fruity alcohol, a few tiny plates of sausages or prawns (or both), then spend the afternoon getting gradually more drunk, and really quite sunburnt. Ole!

Most blatant use of sex to sell football…

Well, there are footballs and a ladylike Spanish costume. Other than that, this is just a young woman enjoying a very typical outdoor shower…

If Del Bosque were a TV character, he would be…

The gentlemanly moustache, the ability to succeed under pressure, a fine seduction patter. Del Bosque IS Magnum PI.

The Spoiler predicts: They seem mentally stronger than before. Finalists, or better.


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