FIFA Ranking : 2
Spain, the current European champions, are the bookies favourites to win the World Cup this time around. After a long wait of 44 years, they led their country to a trophy after a 1-0 win over Germany thereby claiming Euro 2008. Spain have had 12 appearances in the World Cup uptill now - however they've never managed to win one, their best was a 4th place finish in 1950!
Vicenete Del Bosque was appointed as manager after Luis Aragones led Spain to Euro glory in 2008. The highly rated manager has kept the principles maintained by Aragones. Keeping the squad unity and harmony was of utmost importance and he did the most important job of keeping the Spanish side completely down to earth and professional.
Iker Casillas (c) Víctor Valdés Pepe Reina
Sergio Ramos, Joan Capdevila, Álvaro Arbeloa, Raúl Albiol, Gerard Piqué, Carlos Marchena , Carles Puyol
Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Cesc Fàbregas, Juan Manuel Mata, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Javi Martínez, David Silva, Jesús Navas
David Villa, Fernando Torres, Fernando Llorente, Pedro Rodríguez
Cesc Fabregas, on of the best central midfielder currently plying his trade has to sit on the bench - Pepe Reina, could easily be 1st choice keeper for most of top teams - is on the bench. Not only strength in depth, it's the quality that they possess in their reserves which will help them whenever their best 11 are not performing. Then again, a fine margin that separates the the best 11 and the next 11 - Spain's reserves can straight away walk into any other National side. It's this ability to mix and match players of different abilities and tremendous quality that gives the current Spanish side the cutting edge!
It was only until Euro 2008 that Spain had the tag of perennial chokers attached to them. Getting that jinx out of the way was one job done, but maintaing momentum is what is always difficult. Spain have a very strong squad, however if they don't click seem lost at times. Their performances at the Confederation cup last year wasn't upto the mark and they were rightly knocked out by USA. It's all about have the confidence to kill and getting the job done which Spain lacks at the moment and despite the silky football they play, sometimes you have to win ugly!
Men To Watch
Iker Cassillas, has been a phenomenon for both club and country. With over 100 caps, the Real Madrid star is the worth candidate leading a phenomenol team. He has to be considered as a very special part of a golden team as he consistently produces some of his match winning saves in front of goal. And to make sure the Spanish team doesn't rely heavily on him, there's Carlos Puyol at the back. Calm and composed, he's responsible for the organised defence and sanity at the back
Yes, Fernando Torres and David Villa make a tremendous strike pair but there's always the engine of the team which makes them such a lethal and attractive proposition. Xavi is often shadowed by the star pair in attack - Stellar in midfield, Xavi has the key to the most stubborn defence by picking the right pass at the right time.
Spain have never won a World Cup. Despite the strength in debt and the wealth of quality at their disposal, they've never maintained the killer instinct of finishing off games. The team is filled with utmost quality and will play some of the best football - and in the true sense, may have what it takes to go all the way this time around.