Spain: World Cup 2014 FIFA Team Preview @TheRoyaleIndia

Spain: World Cup 2014 FIFA Team Preview

June 9, 2014 239 0 0

Vincent Del Bosque

Coach:Vicente Del Bosque

Odds*:13-2

FIFA rank:1

Formation:4-3-3

World Cup History: Champions (2010), Semifinals (1950), Quarterfinals (1934, 1986, 1994, 2002)

Spain head into the 2014 FIFA World Cup as defending champions. Having retained their style of play and their players, the La Roja are definitely favourites to retain their crown in Brazil. They topped the sole five-team group in the UEFA section; a 1-0 win against France in Paris being the key result on their way to qualification.

Spain have dominated and created a strong foothold for themselves in the last half decade, but the 3-0 loss to Brazil in Confederations Cup final only emphasized the difficulty of the task facing them and has left many doubting whether they can maintain their stratospheric levels of performance in Brazil this summer.

But that obviously doesn’t give anyone the right to write them off.

History at the World Cup

Spain winning FIFA 2010 @TheRoyaleIndia

Spain haven’t really had a great deal of success, having lifted their first trophy in 2010. Their last best performance was when they ended up finishing 4th in 1950.

They were disallowed two goals in 2002 causing the game to go into extra time and it ended 0-0. South Korea beat Spain 5-3 in the penalty shootout to unfairly send Spain out of the tournament.

The 1998 edition was the biggest disappointment as they were eliminated in the group stage, having been seeded in a group with Nigeria, Paraguay and Bulgaria. Spain could manage only 4 points and finished third in the group. In 2006, Spain had come into the Round of 16 with all guns blazing as they had won all 3 games in the group stage, only to be destroyed 3-1 by France.

Squad

Spain have a plethora of players to pick and choose for their midfield – it really is that rich! This also, at times, takes away limelight from their defence.

Iker Casillas would most definitely captain the side with Victor Valdes out injured. Either Napoli’s on-loan goalkeeper Pepe Reina and Manchester United’s David De Gea would be on the bench, and knowing Del Bosque, he would pick Reina.

Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Javi Martinez and Raul Albiol are strong options for the centre back position. Spain boast one of the best set of full backs in the world today and would be a pleasing headache to Del Bosque with Jordi Alba, Juanfran and Azpilicueta all in contention.

Iker Casillas

Spain have a mesmerising midfield, arguably one of the best in the world, with the likes of Iniesta, Busquets, Fabregas, Xavi and Alonso – the last two who may play their last World Cup. A player of Juan Mata or even Santi Cazorla’s stature would actually have to be benched for there is no place for them in the starting XI. Koke has an amazing ability to play on the flanks, and there is a chance that Del Bosque might find him a place in the starting XI.

With both David Villa and Fernando Torres struggling to find their touch, Pedro has distinguished himself as an attacking spearhead, ably supported by Cesc Fabregas, while Alvaro Negredo has begun to stake a compelling claim of his own for the striking role.

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), David De Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli)

Defenders: Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Fabreagas (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Silva (Manchester City)

Forwards: Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Pedro (Barcelona), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), David Villa (Atletico Madrid)

Manager: Vincent Del Bosque is one of the most decorated managers having almost never tasted defeat in world football. He has been at the helm for Spain’s last two wins at World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012. He has also won the Champions League twice with Real Madrid in the early 2000s. Not a shabby résumé. He was also granted a hereditary title following Spain’s World Cup win. He’s officially “the 1st Marquis of Del Bosque.”

Player to watch out for: Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta @TheRoyaleIndia

Iniesta is a brilliant performer and his performance at club level is often undervalued due to Lionel Messi’s exuberance, but Iniesta is, without a doubt, Spain’s main man for big occasions.

The Barcelona midfielder scored the winner and was awarded man of the match in the 2010 World Cup Final. He was also named man of the match in the 4-0 win over Italy in the EURO 2012 final and was also awarded as UEFA’s player of the tournament.

He remains a major influence for Del Bosque’s team and is a player who provides a creative, incisive streak to Spain’s possession based philosophy. He can play in a host of positions and yet his impression on the game never dwindles.

Best starting XI

While it would be extremely difficult to pick just 11 players out of such a star-studded squad, Vincent Del Bosque will have to choose. The expected started XI could be:

Goalkeeper- Iker Casillas(c)

Defenders- Azpilicueta, Ramos, Pique, Alba

Midfielders- Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Xavi

Forwards- Iniesta, Costa, Pedro


Prediction

Group B is in no way the Group of Death. Spain and The Netherlands are the only two teams who can provide a tough fight to each other. Chile is a capable South American team, but them beating Spain seems rather unlikely. Australia can be robust and partially annoying.

However, give that Spain has an experienced and extremely rich squad, they could finish as leaders in their group and likely to face Croatia or Mexico (assuming Brazil finish winners of group A).

Tags: FIFA Blast, FIFA Team, Team Spain FIFACategories: Movies