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FIFA World Cup 2010
Royal Spanish Football Federation
Fourth Place, 1950
Champions, 1964, 2008
3rd Place, 2009
Olympic medal record:
Even though Spain has never won a World Cup, it is one of the favorites to win the 2010 edition at South Africa. The reasons are quite simple: Spain has a great team full of world-famous players who's coming from a perfect qualification stage with no losses, 28 goals for and only 5 goals against and they are in an excellent moment after winning the Euro Cup 2008.
Nevertheless, Spain doesn't rest in its laurels just yet. The team shows a very mature and balanced group of players, who not only have enjoyed success but know really well how to overcome the hard times as well. In their starting lineup they have exceptional players, who are reinforced with an invaluable bench.
Spain will start the World Cup as part of Group H, along with Switzerland, Honduras and Chile
Spain faced Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Belgium, Estonia and Armenia in the Group 5 of the UEFA Qualifying Stage. Spain was the only UEFA team to have a perfect qualification, obtaining the 30 points out of its 10 matches played.
Spain played top-level football during this stage. The results of La Roja included crush victories against Armenia and Belgium (4-0 and 5-0 respectively) and Spain was the second team to score more goals in the UEFA qualifying stage.
At this stage, Turkey's national team was the more challenging for Spain. In Spain's home game, Gerard Pique scored the only goal of the game. However, in Istanbul, Spain was down 0-1 since the middle of the first half. At minute 63, the Spaniards tied the game with a penalty kick and just two minutes later they secured the victory with a second goal, two minutes into injury time.
Spain sealed its qualification to the World Cup two dates before completing the preliminary stage with a convincing 3-0 triumph over Estonia. Even with its pass secured, Spain didn't lower its play, ending the stage with a 2-1 triumph against Armenia and a 5-2 victory over Bosnia.
The Spain national football team is a constellation of superstars, formed by many of the most famous and sought-after players in European football. Names like Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, David Villa, Gerard Pique, Fernando Torres, Pedro, Cesc Fabregas, and Andres Iniesta are constantly mentioned in the world soccer headlines.
With so much talent on its roster, the team's main virtue is its balance. The positions are very well established and each player knows exactly its role in the team. Iker Casillas, considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, is responsible for guarding the team’s goal, reinforced with the defenders Piqué, Puyol and Ramos. In the midfield, Xavi and Iniesta are the essential pillars of the Spanish team. Finally, the offense is formed by dangerous strikers such as David Villa and "El Niño" Torres, who have an innate instinct to seek and define the scoring plays.
Vicente Del Bosque is well remembered for his excellent job as Real Madrid's head coach in their "galactic" era (from 1999 to 2003). Under his guidance, Real Madrid won three national titles and four international titles, including two first division championships and two UEFA Champions League's titles.
Del Bosque leads the Spanish national team since July 2008. Del Bosque took over the team from Luis Aragones, just after he led the team to win the 2008 Euro Cup. With Del Bosque, the Spanish team has won 22 of the 23 games played overall, with only one loss to the United States in the 2009 Confederations Cup.
With his characteristic humbleness and always choosing to keep a low profile, Del Bosque knows very well how to handle his players' egos and ambitions, having a very good control and balance over them. Del Bosque always knows how to make the best out of his players, making them each feel as a fundamental part of the team but not allowing any unnecessary individualism.