Euro 2012: Spotlight on Spain
- 31 May 2012 10:05
- Posted by David Clayton
Spain enter Euro 2012 as the team to beat as reigning European and World champions. In short, whoever finishes above the Spanish will have an excellent chance of winning the competition.
'La Roja' (The Reds) have a team packed with truly world class talent and a bench that most countries could only dream of. Yet until 2008, they were something of an enigma at major tournaments, under-achieving and rarely reaching the latter stages. Those days, it appears, have gone for good with
City connection: David Silva
You don't have to look too deeply into the Spanish squad to find City's main connection - and the reason most Blues will probably adopt Spain as their 'second team - it is of course David Silva. You can view a spotlight on David here, but it goes without saying he will be a major part of La Roja's attempt to defend their crown.
The boss: Vicente del Bosque
Vicente del Bosque succeeded Luis Aragones four years ago and immediately turned a talented group of individuals into a team of limitless potential. Spain won their first 13 games under his leadership and his changes were subtle rather than wholesale. Like a Rolls Royce in need of spark plugs, del Bosque serviced an engine that quickly began to purr.
One to watch: Jordi Alba
This 23-year-old Valencia star has become one of Europe's hottest properties over the past 18 months and will hope to shine at Euro 2012 if he can force his way into the coach's plans. Able to operate at left-back or left midfield, Alba will be keen to prove he can be a part of the Spanish team for many years to come.
Key man: Andres Iniesta
Skilful and blessed with great vision, Andreas Iniesta is one of the best midfielder's in the world. The Barcelona midfielder has an almost telepathic relationship with Xavi and will be almost impossible to contain. He can score, create and tackle and will be at the heart of Spain's bid to retain their title.
Full Squad:Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina, (Liverpool), Victor Valdes (Barcelona)
Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Valencia), Raul Albiol (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao)
Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), David Silva (Manchester City), Santi Cazorla (Malaga), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Chelsea)
Forwards: Jesus Navas (Sevilla), Pedro (Barcelona), Fernando Llorente (Athletic Bilbao), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla)
Odds via Paddy Power: 13/8 favourites
Come along and enjoy Euro 2012 at City Square, the only outdoor venue in Manchester showing the England matches. We are kicking off with England’s opening match against France on June 11, with City Square open from 2:30pm.
There will be free giveaways from the CityStore and EA, parking is free and The Summerbee Bar, Blue Moon Café and Star Bar will all be open.
Tickets are priced at £5 for adults and £3 for kids and are available now from the box office - advance purchase only.