Over the last half decade or so the Spanish national side has unquestionably dominated international football, claiming the European Championships in 2008, before following it up with victory in the World Cup two years later. This level of domination is comparable to that achieved by France when they won the 1998 World Cup followed by the Euros, before the team went into a decline soon after. Spain are still the favourites to retain their European crown in Euro 2012, but will they be able to sustain the level of success they have achieved, or will they experience a slump similar to that which the French endured?
The success that the Spanish national side began to achieve under Luis Aragones involved changing the way that the team played without sacrificing any of the passing and moving fluidity and commitment to attacking that the people of Spain value so highly in their side. Instead Aragones simply focused on making the side stronger physically with extra training and supplements like whey protein to prevent them being muscled off the ball by more physical opponents, and ensuring that – combined with their sublime level of skill – it became virtually impossible for opponents to get the ball off Spain. The re-education that took place within the coaching of the national team, following years of underachievement, is unlikely to be forgotten.
Indeed Spain’s record in qualifying for Euro 2012 and in the group stages does not offer much hope for those who are hoping for a fall from grace – the team came through their qualifying group with a 100 percent win record, and they have also topped Group C with a clear 2 point lead! Of course, everyone is aware of the ongoing problems experienced by Fernando Torres, but even if he should fail to continue his goal scoring form at the tournament, with the number of other world class players in the squad, this is unlikely to prove fatal to their chances. This should be borne in mind by anyone considering betting against them for the tournament if top gambling sites begin to offer favourable odds for their opponents.