Spain and the Netherlands start their 2014 World Cup against each other in Group B, and the Orange Machine will be looking to avenge last World Cup bitter defeat in the final.
Byline: Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
SALVADOR–Four years have passed since Spain has won the World Cup, now they begin their run for a second World Cup title against Holland on June 13, the same team they defeated 1-0 in overtime in South Africa.
Andrés Iniesta was the man who scored the winning goal for Spain in the final against Holland. The Barcelona midfielder is back again, and he is still a big piece for the Spanish midfield.
The midfield for La Furia Roja is packed with experience and game changing players. Iniesta is one of them, Xavi, Xabi Alonso and Cesc Fàbregas; all five of the players are a part of the Spanish team that has won three out of the last five international tournaments. If they win their second straight World Cup, they would have won four out of the last six, which has never been done before.
“We have all the weapons to go as far as the final,” World Cup veteran Spanish forward, David Villa told ESPN FC. “We have won three consecutive tournaments and nobody has ever done that, so we know the whole world is watching us. That is the difficulty, and the nice side, of this sport. If we win the World Cup it will be a huge landmark, a unique achievement. So we have more ambition than ever.”
However, before they can begin to think about winning the World Cup consecutively, they will have to take care of the Dutch first.
The main obstacle that remains in Spain’s way is the forward position. By name the forwards position looks loaded, with names like: Villa, Fernando Torres, David Silva, Juan Mata and Pedro. Though, the man who will make all the difference for this national team is Brazilian native Diego Costa.
The 25-year-old Lagarto, Bra. native is coming home, he has stated that he is recovered from the hamstring injury that kept on the sideline for the last few weeks for his La Liga club team, Atlético de Madrid.
The Brazilian striker finished with 36-goals this season for his club team. His strength and his creativity cause headaches for any opponent.
Costa receiving passes from the Spanish midfield will only lead to a sad repeat of the 2010 final.
However, for Holland the strategy for a victory against Spain is simple; finish their chances when they get them. With players like Robin Van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder their chances increase dramatically.
It also helps that the Spanish defense has players that go too far up in attack, and take a risk by leaving huge spaces for the Dutch to formulate scoring opportunity.
Counters will be the way that the Dutch have a chance to win this game, because if the Netherlands midfield goes toe to toe against the Spanish midfielders, it will be overwhelming in La Rojas favor.
The Orange Machine does have talented players, but they are not all experienced. Players like Canadian native Jonathan de Guzman,Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordy Clasie and Leroy Fer, will all be entering their first World Cup. They will have a very tough job tomorrow of creating an attack against the Spanish midfield.
That is why the Dutch tomorrow will have to clinically execute their counters, plus their veterans will need to guide this very young team against a veteran hungry Spanish side.
“It makes us proud as now every team changes to play against us,” Villa told ESPN FC. “But the past is no good to us now — everything is even more difficult now, although we are ready for any game.”
The Spanish midfield will prove to be too much for the Netherlands tomorrow, and Spain will start the World Cup with a 3-1 victory.