FIFA World Cup Preview: Will Spain Make History?Published May 25, 2014 by OCR Editor
Spain is one of the strongest favorites for the 2014 Brazil World Cup, presented with the opportunity to make a history of winnings this tournament.
Spain's story in football in the past few years has been nothing short of amazing. Spain has appeared in 14 World Cups, reaching the quarter-finals on four occasions. Spain's national team, "La Roja" (The Red One) has always been considered a team with serious weight on its shoulders, but yet the team hasn't managed to gain noticeable achievements throughout the years.
It was in 2008 when the team won its second European Championship (the first being in 1964). This marked the beginning of what many call the "golden generation" of Spanish football. Spanish teams, especially FC Barcelona, ruled the Champions League, while the national team managed to reach the World Cup 2010 Final and beat the Netherlands to lift its first ever World Cup.
Players to Look Out For
Many of Spain's key contributors to the successes in 2008, 2010 and 2012 will play in Brazil next month. These include names like David Villa, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. In general, Spain's roster is filled with stars, but it is important to note they are all coming off full-blown seasons in their European clubs, although that is something shared by many of the favorite national teams, many of Spain's players are over 30 years old.
One particular player to look out for in Spain's front is Diego Costa, a Brazilian who switched to play for Spain after receiving his Spanish citizenship. He scored 36 goals in all competitions this season, helping to bring his team Atletico Madrid to win the La Liga's championship. It has been suggested that Chelsea are planning to buy Costa for more than $50 million.
Spain's manager, Vicente del Bosque, has been with the team since July 2008, stepping in and managing to fill the shoes left by the late Luis Aragones. With four strikers including Alvaro Negredo, David Villa, Fernando Torres and Diego Costa, del Bosque won't have a problem with his forward position - but it will be hard to pick who opens and who substitutes.
Spain is ranked high in odds for the World Cup, as displayed in the 888 Sport comprehensive table of betting markets which present players with many wagering opportunities. Spain is a team known for its speed on the pitch, with the "tiki-taka" style of football, this acquits the Spaniards with 11/1 odds for "Team to score the fastest goal from Kick Off". "To win the trophy", one of the 888's headline team performance markets, gives Spain 13/2 odds for winning this World Cup. Spain's striker Diego Costa is up there with the expected golden boot winner of the tourney, with 17/1 odds.
Spain's Group B consists of the Netherlands, Chile and Australia, with the opening game pitting the Spaniards against the Dutch on June 13th. Spain is a strong favorite to retain its title this World Cup, which will also make history by winning a second straight World Cup and a fourth straight major tournament. The team is a safe choice for any punter.