2006-06-01 12:53

Berlin - Thirty-two teams have qualified for the 2006 World Cup finals which take place in Germany from June 9 - July 9.



World Cup appearances: 11 (1934, 1950, 1962, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002)

World Cup best: 4th place (1950); Quarter-finalists (1996, 2000)

European champions: 1 (1964)

Fifa world ranking: 5

Odds: 14/1

Coach: Luis Aragones

Embroiled in controversy at the end of 2004 for racist remarks directed at France striker Thierry Henry in a row which has obscured the fact that Aragones has forged one of the best Spain sides of recent history.

As a player, Aragones made his name as a powerful goalscoring midfielder with Atletico Madrid, who he helped win La Liga in 1966, 1970 and 1973.

Coached no fewer than nine clubs in the Spanish first division during a lengthy career before taking over national team from Inaki Saez in 2004.

Key player: Cesc Fabregas

Has matured swiftly after a season in which he was forced to fill the gaping midfield hole left by Patrick Vieira's departure from Arsenal.

Was outstanding in the Gunners' victories over Real Madrid and Juventus and now seems a certainty to start for Spain at the World Cup.

A busy attacking midfielder, Spain could thrive if Fabregas finds his feet early in the tournament.



Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Juan Manuel Reina (Liverpool/ENG), Santiago Canizares (Valencia)


Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Michel Salgado (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Carlos Marchena (Valencia), Asier Del Horno (Chelsea/ENG), Antonio Lopez (Atletico Madrid), Pablo Ibanez (Atletico Madrid), Juanito Gutierrez (Real Betis).


David Albelda (Valencia), Xabi Alonso (Liverpool/ENG), Joaquin Sanchez (Real Betis), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal/ENG), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona), Marcos Senna (Villarreal)


Jose Antonio Reyes (Arsenal/ENG), David Villa (Valencia), Fernando Torres (Atletico Madrid), Raul Gonzalez (Real Madrid), Luis Garcia (Liverpool/ENG)

Note: Replacement of Asier Del Horno (injured) pending.


AB praises selfless skipper

2010-11-21 18:15

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