Spain World Cup Squad 2014
Yesterday we previewed England’s chances, today we feature the Spain World Cup Squad for Brazil as the defending champions are looking to become the first country to successfully retain their world crown since the Pele-inspired Brazil sides of 1958 and 1962.
Spain have been the dominant force in world football for the last six years and number one in the FIFA world rankings since October 2011, so expectations are high. Vicente Del Bosque is blessed with a selection headache for nearly every position in his starting XI, although Iker Casillas is a certainty in goal.
The Real Madrid man does not play as much for his club as he once did but is a permanent fixture in the national side. The 12th most capped player in the world will find support in Pepe Reina and Manchester United’s David de Gea, who has capitalised on an injury to Barcelona’s Victor Valdes to take his place in the squad.
Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, of Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, will continue their blossoming centre-back partnership, while Chelsea’s Cesar Azpilicueta has played his way into the starting XI after a series of lung-busting displays for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Barcelona’s Jordi Alba impressed massively at Euro 2012, having taken to international football like a duck to water – his record of five goals in 25 international appearances is impressive and he should add more to his collection.
Raul Albiol, Juanfran and Alberto Moreno should provide adequate cover for the back four.
- World Cup 2014 group: Group B with Australia, Chile and the Netherlands.
- Qualifying campaign: P8 W6 D2 L0 – Finished first in Group I of UEFA qualifying.
- Record at World Cup: 13 appearances. Winners in 2010, Fourth place in 1950.
- Performance in 2010: Beat the Netherlands 1-0 (aet) to win the World Cup.
- Manager: Vicente Del Bosque.
- Captain: Iker Casillas.
- Player to watch: David Silva.
- World Ranking: First.
The Spanish midfield is good enough to be split into two teams, withDel Bosque having players of the highest order, starring for some of the greatest teams in Europe. Most of these will only be warming the bench for him such is the strength in depth in the Spanish midfield and unrivalled in world football.
Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa switched his allegiance from his native Brazil to his adoptive country Spain earlier this season. Considering he has scored over 30 goals this term, it seems like a shrewd move, but with just three international caps, Costa will have to assimilate into the squad very quickly or he could be playing catch-up.
However, he is one of the best strikers in Europe at the moment and should be able to cope with the extra rigours of the international game.
Barcelona’s Pedro has had his most productive season to date and should be able to provide some support to Costa. World Cup veteran David Villa will conjure up some much-needed goals if called upon, the 32-year-old has eight World Cup goals to date and his experience will prove to be invaluable.
Spain opened their 2010 World Cup campaign with a 1-0 loss to Switzerland and this time they face the Netherlands on 13th June when they will be hoping to get off to a winning start.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), David de Gea (Manchester United), Pepe Reina (Napoli).
Defenders: Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Cesar Azplicueta (Chelsea), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Alberto Moreno (Sevilla), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Bilbao), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Juan Mata (Manchester Unitedp), Jesus Navas (Manchester City), David Silva (Manchester City), Tiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi (Barcelona).
Forwards: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Llorente (Juventus), Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City), Pedro (Barcelona), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), David Villa(Atletico Madrid).
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