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miércoles, 30 de abril de 2008

EURO 2008: SPAIN (This article is available in English and Español)

The EURO 2008 will start next 7 of June in Austria and Switzerland, so it is time to begin the analysis of the different participant squads. In this article we will focus on the Spanish National team, which has an objective, since it must step forward and revive ancient proceedings, as EURO 64 when Spain was the European Champion after a win in the final against Russia-the Russian team had the legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin- or as EURO 84 when Spain lost the final against France (The French star Michel Platini scored thanks a big mistake of the Spanish goalkeeper Arconda).

To obtain a good result in this tournament-it will be ok to arrive to the semi-final-the controversial national coach, the sour and veteran Luis Aragones “The wise of Hortaleza”, is betting on players with a lot of quality in all the lines; players that if they have inspired day, they are unstoppable and they able to humiliate the rival team, as in last World Championship in Germany, where Spain played a memorable game against Ukraine. But on the other hand, these players can also play horrible and they are incapable to win modest team as for the example “the powerful” Northern Ireland – Spain had a humiliating lost in Belfast during the Qualifying´ round of the EURO-.
So, anything is possible with this squad and specially with this coach- we hope that this time the” Wise of Hortaleza” carries out and he go home after the EURO-, who will not call the Real Madrid´s star, Raul, to the squad, which is a big mistake, because Raul has been, is and will be the best Spanish player in a long time and then when he will retire, we will miss him, but in short, the "Wise" is the "Wise" and we must respect his strange decisions, because he knows "a lot"-he demonstrates his “wisdom” in "All" the European cups and Spanish leagues that he has won as a coach in the last 35 years (all his "impressive" record as coach is reduced to 4 Spanish Cups, 1 Spanish league in 1977 with Atletico de Madrid ,1 Intercontinental Cup in 1975 and a Spanish Supercup. Even with this poor record, he dares to criticize Raul, saying that Raul has not gained anything with Spain, finally… Well he is the "great" Aragonese, he is always provoking) -.

Well, the Aragones ´ team is framed in “a priori” easy group, because in theory Spain is better than Greece, Sweden and Russia, so Spain should finish in the fist position of the group and then to wait for the 4th the final´s rival (the opponent will be a team of the group C, which is a very open group, since any team -France, Italy, Netherlands and Romania-can qualify to the next round-France and Italy will have many difficulties with Netherlands and Romania). To achieve the first objective (to be the group´s leaders), Luis Aragones entrusted in good players as the great goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who is doing a memorable season, since without him Real Madrid would not have much advantage in the standing. He is at a high level and he is virtually unbeatable –he has some problems in the corners´s play, but this thing can tarnish his superb season-. In addition, Iker will be protected by a good defensive line, since we can find in this line secure players as Real Madrid´s right back Sergio Ramos-he is a “bull”, but perhaps he should take care of his intensity because he has already seen 15 yellow cards in the Spanish league-, or the Villarreal CF´s left back Joan Capdevila -player who has a good shot and in fact he has already scored with the “roja” -and “bravísimo” Carles Puyol-he is, alongside Gabi Milito, the only FC Barcelona´s defender who is playing in a correct level. As a Catalan journalist, Quim Maria Puyal, says "Puyol is Puyol," he is always a guarantee of security and effort. The other central defender will be the Valencia´s player Carlos Marchena-although we dislike this player, because he is a bit slow and he is always protesting to the referee, the truth is that we prefer the other Valencia´s central defender Raul Albiol, but we assume that Aragones will opt for the Marchena´s experience-.

In front of the defensive line, Luis Aragones will use a defensive midfielder. Some names sound for this position, although the player with more options to be in the squad is the Liverpool´s midfielder Xabi Alonso. Nevertheless, we should not forget other players like Marcos Senna, who is playing very well in Villarreal and besides he has an additional point over the rest, his good shot; or the Getafe´s player Ruben de la Red or Valencia´s player David Albelda- if he play the last 4 games of the season, after the departure of Ronald Koeman as Valencia´s coach, he will have a good chance to go to EURO and to play because Aragones has a lot of trust in this player-. Along the defensive midfielder, the Spanish coach has several alternatives, since he can choose the "Jugones"´s option or a more traditional option, using wingers. If he prefers the first option we'll see on the field pure talent, a lot of technical quality, because we will see together the Barcelona´s players Xavi and Iniesta, the Arsenal player Cesc Fabregas-hopefully once and for all Cesc show with the Spanish team the same level as he shows every weekend in England (he was elected this week the best young player of the English Premier league), because until this moment he has not played very well with Spain-and the Valencia ´s player David Silva. In other words, players who play excellent in the middle (none of them has too much speed to play as a winger- possibly, Silva is the best to play as winger) with a “big” vision of the game and with a lot of quality passing the ball. On the other hand, if the coach opts for the second alternative, we will see one of those 4 players( possibly Xavi, because he is a player who is always praised by Luis Aragones), along with the Valencia ´s player Joaquin as right winger – we think that this is a very overvalued player because he does not pass and shot correctly and it is inexcusable for a winger-and Espanyol´s player Albert Riera as left winger, although this player started the season very well, but now he is not playing very well, so it is hesitant his presence in the squad.

Whatever the elected system by Luis Aragones, the mission of the midfielders is clear, to supply good balls to the strikers of the team, who will be David Villa (he is not the player of other seasons, but he playing better little by little and it is sure that he will arrive perfect to EURO and he will be an important player for Spain), Fernando Torres (he is making an impressive season, his speed and definition are shutting up the voices of the Fernando Torres´s criticism -as we know , some Spanish people have the “virtue” of undervalue our things or players-. This can be the Fernando Torres´s trampoline in order to be a world football´s star-if he is not already-) and the impressive Mallorca´s striker Dani Güiza, who is playing excellent, being the Spanish top scorer with 22 goals in the Spanish league-he has only scored one goal less than the top scorer of the Spanish liga, the Brazilian Luis Fabiano.

In short, Spain is a good team in all lines but it has to prove that it knows to compete in the difficult moments of the tournament and thus to achieve something important, as for example the Spanish National team of basketball has done (world champion), or of Handball (world champion), or futsal (world and European champion) or rink-hockey (world and European champion) have done.

1 comentario:

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