Euro 2012: The Contenders – Spain




Defending Champions Spain and giants Italy form the powerhouses of Group C in a pool that also contain the Republic of Ireland and dark horses Croatia.

Euro 2012: The Contenders - Spain

Euro 2012: The Contenders – Spain

Spain, after winning the Championships in 2008 have won 33 of their 36 competitive games since, thus making them the team to beat in Poland and Ukraine. Italy, despite their recent run of form, are expected to go scrape through to the knockouts. Republic of Ireland are a team capable of springing up surprises while Croatia, on their day, can be world beaters.

Spain:

Spain were the perennial underachievers in world football until their Euro Cup success in 2008. They followed it up with a World Cup victory in 2010 and have hardly put a foot wrong since then. Despite the absence of the team’s all time leading scorer David Villa and Barcelona skipper Carlos Puyol, Spain start the tournament as the overwhelming favorites.

Spain’s success secret lies in their Tiki Taka form of play which involves passing the ball around quickly with a lot of first time passes and great movement by the players. Vicente Del Bosque spoilt for choice with a midfield comprising of David Silva, Juan Mata, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas apart from the duo of Xavi and Iniesta. The absence of David Villa means that either of the Fernandos – Torres or Llorente will lead the front line for the world champions.

Key Player: The Spanish Team has a host of world beaters in their lineup but if there is one man that runs the show, it is Xavi Hernandez. Named the player of the tournament in 2008, Xavi is the heartbeat of the Spanish side with his pinpoint accurate passes and holding the possession. The Catalan, who came through the ranks of Barcelona, is known for his deadly killer passes and though he doesn’t score as many goals, he is one man that every team would love to have in their lineup.

Other Stars: Iker Casillas, Fernando Torres, Sergio Ramos, Andres Iniesta, David Silva, Juan Mata, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique, Cesc Fabregas

Prediction: Semifinals

No other team has defended the Euro Cup and no team has won three major trophies in succession. Spain have a chance to put both those facts to rest as they look to justify their pre-tournament tag of being the favorites. The European Championships have been acknowledged as a more competitive and tougher playground than the World Cup and if Spain’s golden generation can defend the trophy they won in 2008, they could well be placed in the bracket of the greatest team of all time.

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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