Spain

World Cup

Spain v Portugal: The El Clasico of Euros

Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas has called Spain’s semi-final with neighbors Portugal as the El Clasico of Euro 2012.

The Barcelona star believes that Portugal’s style mirrors Real Madrid’s counter-attacking style by using the explosive pace of Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, while Spain use Barcelona’s passing template, basing their game around Barca’s midfield maestro’s.

Barca stars Gerard Pique, maestro Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Fabregas form the spine of Vicente Del Bosque’s super-team.

There is a hefty sprinkling of Real Madrid in Iker Casillas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso, but still Spain is much more Pep Guardiola than Jose Mourinho.

Barcelona, La Liga, Real Madrid

Zidane Considers Coaching France

Former French international and one of the games greats Zinedine Zidane is considering the option of returning to the French national team as a coach. Zidane who retired from the side after he infamously head butted Marco Materazzi during the  2006 world cup finals,  made the statement when questioned by Le Parisien.

“Whether I’d like to be coach of Les Bleus? Why not! That wouldn’t be a bad thing. Everything’s possible in life,”

Zidane is currently Real Madrid’s sporting director, having been appointed to that position at the beginning of the year after a 2 year stint as an advisor to club president Florentino Perez.

La Liga

Spain Comes From Behind To Beat Chile

Second-half substitute Cesc Fabregas scored twice as reigning European and FIFA World Cup™ champions Spain fought back from a two-goal deficit to beat Chile 3-2 in an international friendly.

Vicente Del Bosque’s side were punished for a slow start as Chile raced into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Mauricio Isla and Eduardo Vargas, but the introduction of Andres Iniesta at half-time reinvigorated the Spanish midfield.

Within nine minutes the Barcelona man had pulled a goal back and it was his pass that allowed fellow substitute Fabregas to level the scores with 20 minutes remaining. Fabregas then scored the winner in stoppage time, converting the rebound after his penalty had been saved by Claudio Bravo.

Europe, News

Spain And Holland Impressive

Holders Spain and Holland both maintained their perfect starts to Euro 2012 qualifying while Italy, France, Belgium and Serbia also won as qualification resumed for the new year.

Spain won all three of their Group I games in the fall but with 21 minutes left trailed the Czech Republic in Granada. David Villa levelled the scores, moving him one ahead of Raúl’s record of 44 goals for Spain. Villa then converted a penalty to leave the world and European champions six points clear of the Czechs with four games each left.

Barcelona, La Liga, News, Real Madrid

Spain dominates World XI Team

In addition to the naming of Lionel Messi as the inaugural winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or, FIFA also announced Jose Mourinho was named Coach of the Year ahead of World Cup-winning Spain boss Vicente del Bosque and Barcelona’s Pep Guardiola for leading Inter Milan to an unprecedented Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia treble.

Hamit Altintop’s volley for Turkey against Kazakhstan was named Goal Of The Year while Brazil great Marta won a record fifth successive Women’s Player of the Year award.

La Liga

Del Bosque Safe Regardless of Performance

Amid Spain’s shocking defeat to Switzerland in their opening fixture at the 2010 World Cup, rumors instantly began to surface pertaining to the future of the national program’s head coach Vicente del Bosque.

Brought in to replace the illustrious Luis Aragones following Spain’s win at Euro 2008, del Bosque was to continue the golden generation within Spanish soccer, highlighted by world domination in South Africa.

Yet one game in, and already disaster has struck within the Spanish camp. Spain looked hesitant and unsure of themselves throughout the match, and failed to break down a staunch Swiss back-line. Following the game del Bosque felt that every bounce, every call went the way of their Swiss opponents, and it was merely a case of bad luck.

Europa League, Major League Soccer

Soccer at Warp Speed

Today I’m reading an article at MLSnet.com about Dallas committing to what the writer called “attacking” soccer.  I like to call it “Soccer at warp speed”.

Let me give you some background.  Soccer was the only sport I played as a kid and I played like a lunatic.  We ran hard, we kicked hard, we tackled hard (I even once broke a kid’s leg slide tackling him.  It was probably just bad luck our parts, but I wasn’t messing around and neither were my teammates.)