Champions in the 2010 edition and clear second favourites to win the tournament, is the Spanish Armada in 2014 FIFA World Cup being held in Brazil.
Spain, just like Brazil boast of a fine squad. Their famous ‘Tiki Taka’ style of play has earned them laurels over the years and they will look to replicate what they did in South Africa. They are a close knit unit that enjoy plenty of posession and will look to frustrate opponents during long spells of the game.
Speaking of star power, Spain boast of one of the most star studded line ups in the tournament. The likes of Ramos, Pique, Xavi, Iniesta, Mata and Fabregas have been some of the most sought after players around the world and they will play a vital role in their team’s fortune.
The area of concern for Spain is the injury to star striker Diego Costa. The Athletico striker has been in red hot form this season and is racing against time to recover from a leg injury. He has been included in the provisional 23 man squad. But his fitness will prove to be a major concern to Del Bosque’s side.
Here’s a look at the Spanish lineup:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), David De Gea (Manchester United).
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba (both Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid).
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas (all Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich).
Forwards: David Silva (Manchester City), Diego Costa, David Villa (both Atletico Madrid), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Pedro (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United).
Champions Spain will vie for the top spot in group B along with world cup finalists ,the Netherlands. Chile and Australia are the other teams in this group and they will have to be in top form if they stand even a remote chance of qualification.
Spain will ease past the group stages as expected and will be ‘the team’ to beat this year. Del Bosque’s side have fared well in the warm up matches and are alive and kicking for Brazil.
Stars to watch out for: Xavi, Iniesta, Mata, Villa, Costa