Confident Spain Ready to Start their World Cup Campaign with a Win

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Confident Spain Ready to Start their World Cup Campaign with a Win

European Champions and favourites Spain are set to show their credentials on the world stage when they face Switzerland in their opening Group H match on Wednesday. Spanish team and fans believes that this time they will come home with the biggest prize in World Football.
La Roja have been tipped favourite after their incredible performance in 2008 Euro Championship, where they destroyed their opposition with thorough and clinical performance. With the emergence of Barcelona as sole super-power in club football, Spain is undoubtedly comes to the World Cup riding on the wave of success. Arsenal and Barcelona star midfielder Cesc Fabregas, believes that as Spain has never won World Cup before, they are hungry and determined to achieve that feat this time. And with quality in them, it is not impossible to think.
Spain is the only team in the world to hold number one spot in FIFA ranking without winning the World Cup. Their best finish in World Cup was fourth which they achieved in 1950. After 1950, they only succeeded in qualifying for two more World Cups until 1978. From there onwards they have appeared in every single edition. But they come to this World Cup with pool of extremely talented and experienced players. With players like Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso, Barcelona’s Xavi and Andres Iniesta and lethal strike force consisting of Valencia’s David Villa and Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, Spain is the force to contend with.
Spain led by their coach Del Bosque won all of their qualifying matches and comes to this World Cup with great self-confidence. Fabregas believes that this time Spain is resolute to lift the World Cup. Talking to media, he said, “We are hungry for the title and we can show that we are the best at this championship. We are in very competitive group, but we are keen to show that this is our moment and we are hungry to show that Spain can be the best.” The quality of Spain can be judged from the fact, that talented and crafty player like Fabregas struggles to find his place in starting 11.
On the other hand, Switzerland is also convinced that they can upset the favourites when they meet in Durban. Switzerland is now coached by former Bayern Munich’s boss Ottmar Hitzfeld. Hitzfeld has pool of both young and experienced players at his disposal. With players like Eren Derdiyok, Tranquillo Barnetta, Diego Benaglio, Alexander Frei and Blaise Nkufo, Switzerland has right combination of both youth and age.
Switzerland came to this World Cup topping their Qualifying group despite losing to minnows Luxembourg. In their warm-up matches, they lost to Costa Rica 1-0 and drew with defending champion Italy 1-1. Switzerland, who reached the round of 16 of 2006 World Cup are confident that they will stop Spain juggernauts but are under no illusion regarding strength of Spain. Commenting on Spain, midfielder Gelson Fernandes said, “The Spanish team is the best team of all time. They play like Barcelona. I have rarely seen such dominance in collective play. You can see they all fit together well as a unit on the pitch. It will be magnificent to play against them.” Fernandes believes that in order to counter technical side like Spain, Switzerland will now need to put pressure on them by holding the ball in midfield. Regarding this, he said, “They are favourites as they are very strong technically. We will have to put them under pressure high up the field.”
Switzerland will come to their opening match with two players missing out of action due to injuries. Frei and Behrami are out of the first match. Coach Hitzfeld believes that his team would need to play attacking football to counter Spain. It will be very interesting to see both teams battling out each other in the field. Spain comes to this World Cup with great expectations on their shoulders. It will be interesting to see whether they come under pressure of such expectation or use it as drive to achieve glory.  



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