World Cup 2010: Group H of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

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World Cup 2010: Group H of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

Last group of the 2010 World Cup but no less important by any means as it has the leading favourite team of experts and neutrals alike: Spain. But be reminded that there is more to this group than the Spanish side alone. A resolute Chilean side is full of promise and ambitions to progress well through this group, while the group also has Switzerland who have become a surging football nation in Europe recently which may very continue as their youngster won the Under 17 World Cup last year. Like Group E, this group also does not have any former world champion.

Spain, ranked at 2nd position in the FIFA rankings and have been the most under-achieving nation when it comes to the international football tournaments. This phrase of "under-achievers" seems to have become synonymous with the Spanish football team but this has been the very fact until only two years ago when they won their first major international tournament, Euro 2008. Despite having one of the most competitive domestic leagues in their system with arguably the most famous two clubs, Real Madrid and Barcelona FC, the Spaniards could never boast a serious challenge in the World Cups. Their best shot was the semi-final defeat in 1950 World Cup where they played quarter-finals in four other tournaments: 1934, 1986, 1994 and most recently in 2002. The 2010 World Cup will only be their thirteenth participation in this football showpiece tournament but have clearly the best chance this time than they ever had to win their maiden title.

Their squad is not only full of world class players but they are also very well gelled together to form a united group of player on the pitch. Attacking dimension of the game will be headed by Fernando Torres and David Villa while they will have plenty of opportunities created by probably the most accomplished midfield in the tournament which comprises of Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Febregas, David Silva and the rising star Pedro. Defence will be taken of by Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos while they have three of the most reliable goalies in their ranks is Iker Casillas, Victor Valdes and Pepe Reina, but obviously only one can stand in the goal post at a time.

Chile, ranked at 18th position in the FIFA rankings, will be participating in their eighth World Cup this year. Their best result was in the 1962 tournament when they finished at third position at home. After this achievement they only succeeded to progress through the group stage in 1998 but bowed out in the Round of 16 which happens to be their last match in World Cups till date. For the 2010 World Cup, Chile finished the 18-match South American qualifying round at second position, just a point behind Brazil but one more win than the five-time world champions. These wins also included their first ever against Argentina. Key players include attackers Mark Gonzalez, Humberto Suazo, midfielder Matias Fernandez and keeper Claudio Bravo.

Switzerland, ranked at 24th position in the FIFA rankings, will be making their ninth appearance in the World Cups. They were among the better sides when the World Cup started and finished their campaigns in 1934, 1938 and 1954 at the quarter-final stage. They have also progress through the group stages in 1994 and 2006. Switzerland topped their group, although with only a point ahead of Greece, in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and got the automatic berth from the group. Valon Behrami, Alexander Frei and Phillipe Senderos are the better known players in the squad.

Honduras, ranked at 38th position in the FIFA rankings, and will take part in their second World Cup after making debut in the 1982 tournament. They qualified after finishing third in the CONCACAF qualification zone behind the USA and Mexico. Wilson Palacios, veteran Carlos Pavon and Maynor Figueroa will be sharing responsibilities for team's progress.

Spain are clear favourites to top the group while the match between Chile and Switzerland could very well settle the second position. Winners from this group will face runners-up of Group G in the Round of 16 and the runners-up will tie up with winners of Group G which comprises of Brazil, Portugal, Ivory Coast and North Korea. Many are backing Spain to go all the way to lift the trophy for the first time this year but they have an uphill task on their hand beyond this group. Just to start, they may face Portugal or Ivory Coast in the Round of 16 if they and Brazil both top their respective groups.



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