World Cup 2006 Preview – Spain

| Total Words: 429

Outright Odds: 14/1
Group H Winners: 4/6

Spain, yet again, are tipped as dark horses for the World Cup and 2006 will finally end years of disappointment and this generation of players will fulfil their undoubted potential. But they wont. For all their individual talent they can never motivate themselves to rise to the challenge.

They are, of course, mainstays of the World Cup and 2006 will be their eight tournament in a row they have qualified for dating back to 1978. The quarter finals is as far as they have gone since then so why the obsession that this will be their year?

Spain qualified via the play-offs after finishing runners-up to Serbia & Montenegro in their group. Luis Aragones side were unbeaten in 10 qualifiers but five draws and five wins meant they needed to square off against Slovakia in order to secure their place in Germany. It was all over after the first leg as Spain ran out 5-1 winners before drawing 1-1 in the return leg to win 6-2 on aggregate.

Perhaps the cause for such optimism lies with the manager. Under Aragones, Spain are unbeaten in 18 games since he took over in July 2004, although the players must also take...

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