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The Spanish National Football Squad

Prince of Asturias Award for Sports 2010

The Spanish National Football Squad has achieved in 2010 their most outstanding victory in their 90 years of history: the World Cup in South Africa, the most important international competition of national teams that the FIFA organises. Directed by coach Vicente del Bosque, the Spanish Team that won the World Cup on 11th July in Johannesburg was made up of goalkeepers Íker Casillas, Víctor Valdés and Pepe Reina; defenders Raúl Albiol, Gerard Piqué, Carlos Marchena, Carles Puyol, Joan Capdevila, Sergio Ramos and Álvaro Arbeloa; midfielders Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernández, Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Sergio Busquets, Javier Martínez and David Silva; and forwards David Villa, Fernando Torres, Juan Manuel Mata, Fernando Llorente and Jesús Navas.

The Spanish Team won the World Cup after playing seven games, loosing only the first of them. In the first round, after loosing against Switzerland (1-0), they beat Honduras (2-0) and Chile (2-1). In the round of 16, they won against Portugal (1-0), going through to the quarter finals in which they won against Paraguay 1-0. In the semi-final against Germany, Spain won 1-0, and in the final, they beat The Netherlands in the extra time with a goal from Andrés Iniesta.

The welcome to the players and coaching staff of the Spanish National Football Squad brought together thousands of people in the streets throughout the country. The FIFA, which granted Spain the Fair Play Award, included six Spanish players in their All-star team of the World Cup and named Vicente del Bosque the Best Coach of the World Cup. The goalkeeper Casillas received the Golden Glove Award for best goalkeeper and the Asturian David Villa, with five goals, was the second top scorer of the championship. After winning the European Championship and winning the ten matches of the qualifying round, Spain established themselves as the fan’s favourites to win the World Cup in South Africa 2010. The title of World Champion gave Spain the first place in the FIFA World Ranking.

The Spanish National Football Squad was created in 1920 with the aim of representing Spain in the Olympic Games in Antwerp (Belgium). The team played its first official match on 28th August against Denmark, winning 1-0. Spain ended up earning its first bronze medal. On the second World Cup, which was held in Italy in 1934, Spain played its first final. Throughout its history, the Spanish team played in 14 World Cups and was the host country in 1982. It has also participated in 10 European Championships, winning the trophy in 1964, 2008 and 2012. In 1964 Spain was the host country, and won the final against the Soviet Union by 2-1. In June 2008, Spain won its second title after beating Germany by 1-0.

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