GROUP H: Will Spain vindicate their favouritism?

Spain are being tipped widely to win the World Cup this year and for good reason.

Spain are being tipped widely to win the World Cup this year and for good reason.

They performed brilliantly in the 2008 European Championships to take out the title and have been in blistering form ever since.

Their list of players is packed with stars and match-winners and they have proven over the past two years that they can sustain good form.

Along with perennial favourites Brazil, Spain are expected to at least make the final four of this tournament and it is hard to see how they cannot achieve that with players of the ilk of Fernando Torres, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, David Villa and Xabi Alonso.

Naming them doesn’t even make a dent in the amount of quality Vicente del Bosque has at his disposal and I believe that the media, fans and betting agencies around the world are right on the money when installing the Spanish as World Cup favourites.

Spain

Playing schedule: Switzerland (Durban) June 16; Honduras (Johannesburg) June 21; Chile (Tshwane/Pretoria) June 25

Also known as: La Furia Roja (The Red Fury)
Manager: Vicente del Bosque (ESP)
Captain: Iker Casillas
Key players: Fernando Torres, Cesc Fabregas, Andres Iniesta, David Villa
Wildcard: Jesus Navas
Player to watch: Xavi
Most caps: Andoni Zubizareta (126). Of this squad: Iker Casillas (104)
Top goalscorer: Raul (44). Of this squad: David Villa (38)
FIFA ranking: 2
Qualifying: Top of group in UEFA group stage.
Appearance: 13th
Best result: Fourth – 1950

Spain squad

Goalkeepers

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
Pepe Reina (Liverpool)

Defenders

Raul Albiol (Real Madrid)
Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
Carlos Marchena (Valencia)
Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
Joan Capdevila (Villarreal)
Sergio Ramos (Barcelona)
Alvaro Arbeloa (Barcelona)

Midfielders

Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona)
Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal)
Juan Mata (Valencia)
Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)
Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)
Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao)
David Silva (Valencia)
Jesus Navas (Sevilla)

Forwards

Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
David Villa (Barcelona)
Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona)
Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao)

Have your say