SpainPosted on: 05 June 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves
Spani's class of 2008 will enjoy more siestas and sangria's if they can crown themselves kings.
Coach: Luis Aragones (69) The veteran coach has kept his job through a host of controversies off the pitch but his unorthodox methods could hold the key to Spanish success.
Away From The Game
Famous Export: Bullfighting, siestas, sherry, Antonio Banderas (actor), Pablo Picasso (painter), Julio Iglesias (singer), Rafael Nadal (tennis), Severiano Ballesteros (golfer), Oranges.
National Food: Tapas (variety of appetizers), cocido (stew), paella (rice dish).
National Drink: Sangria (wine punch), Rioja (Spanish wine), sherry, wine.
National Animal: Bull
Star: Fernando Torres (24), Liverpool (Eng) deadly striker who hit 24 Premiership goals last season. “El Nino’s” goal record needs to improve for Spain.
Hidden Gem: Sergio Ramos (22), Real Madrid’s rampaging full-back. Equally adapt at centre-half, Ramos has blossomed into a world class defender.
How They Qualified: Group F winners in front of Sweden, Northern Ireland, Denmark, Latvia, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Previous Best: Winners 1964
FIFA Ranking: 4
Key Fact: Spain’s goldenboy Raul has been left at home despite enjoying a remarkable renaissance with his La Liga title winners Real Madrid.
Overview: Spain are renowned for failing in major competitions but pundits and bookies alike believe this could be their year. A youthful and talented squad are hot favourites for this year’s title. But the Spanish tend to crumble under pressure and an exit before the final would not be overly surprising. No more excuses, it’s time for Spain to stand tall.
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