Claudio Marchisio was impressed with Spain, but also by Italy’s debutants after a 1-0 result in Madrid.
“Spain are always strong and even as the years go by they still bring out more talent from their youth academies, like Thiago Alcantara,” the midfielder told Rai Sport.
“Anyone who faces them at the World Cup will need a great performance. We did well against them at Euro 2012 and in the Confederations Cup, but we know it’s tough. Cesare Prandelli said the difference in fitness levels between the sides was “almost embarrassing.” How can Marchisio explain such a gap?
“We always try to counter their possession and be strong on the attack, which at times we did and created some good chances. It’s something we need to do better than we did tonight.”
“There are periods over the season where teams are in better shape than others. I expected Spain to play this way on home turf. Some said Spain were on the way down after the Confederations Cup, but I really didn’t see that.
“I also have to praise Immobile for his performance, as he caused the Spanish defence problems.” Marchisio was asked about the recent controversy between Juventus and Prandelli over the decision to call Giorgio Chiellini when not 100 per cent fit.
“When we wear this jersey we think only about Italy. We have so little time to prepare for the World Cup, so we cannot listen to everything that goes on outside.”
Pedro Rodriguez’s goal was enough to give World champions Spain a 1-0 win over Italy in their final game before coach Vicente del Bosque names his squad to defend their title later this year in Brazil. Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa was handed his debut on home soil at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in what was a rematch of the Euro 2012 final which saw Spain successfully defend their title.
However, Costa failed to make much of an impression and it was Spain’s top goalscorer in qualification, Pedro, who made the difference when his shot squirmed under Gianluigi Buffon just after the hour mark.
Spain will play two more friendly matches against Bolivia and El Salvador after the end of the club season before they kick-off their World Cup campaign for real against the team they beat in the 2010 final the Netherlands on June 13.
Spain started the brighter and could have been in front after just 80 seconds when a characteristic burst forward from left-back by Jordi Alba forced Buffon into a brave save.
The Manchester City midfielder was involved again when Spain did eventually make the breakthrough on 63 minutes as after a lovely one-two between him and Iniesta, the ball fell kindly for Pedro and his low effort squeezed in despite Buffon’s best efforts.
Costa’s final chance for a debut goal came and went 10 minutes from time when his shot flashed across goal.
Cesare Prandelli will name his Italy squad to play Spain on Sunday, whilst speculation is out on who may make his March training camp too. The CT is expected to name a strong 27-man selection to face world and double European champions Spain in Madrid next Wednesday, with doubts only seen on three positions within his proposed squad.
Continued doubts over Mario Balotelli’s shoulder injury have his inclusion in the party at risk, with Ciro Immobile speculated as the man who may benefit from a call-up in his place.Gabriel Paletta is seen as set to be included in defence, whilst Marco Verratti may make the midfield cut.
It is understood that third choice goalkeeper is up for grabs between Antonio Mirante and Morgan De Sanctis and that a final midfield slot to make the trip to the Vicente Calderon is between Marco Parolo and Alberto Aquilani.
The Italy squad’s schedule on the Monday includes meeting at noon, presenting the team’s new shirt, departing for Madrid and a first training session in the Spanish capital open to the media.
Tuesday will see the team train on the Vicente Calderon pitch, after a second Press conference from Prandelli and a selected player, whilst Wednesday evening will see the game kick off at 9pm UK time, before the group depart the same night for an early Thursday morning arrival back in Rome.
Brazil-born forward Diego Costa has trained with Spain for the first time as they prepare for Wednesday’s friendly against Italy when he is likely to make his debut for his adopted country. “I think he is a great choice and he can bring a lot to the team,” Spain and Real Madrid centre back Sergio Ramos told reporters on Monday as he arrived at the team’s training camp.
Coach Vicente del Bosque called him up for Spain’s two friendlies in November but he had to withdraw due to injury and the in-form 25-year-old appears well placed to earn a place at the World Cup finals in Brazil ahead of the likes of Fernando Torres and David Villa.
Spain’s Barcelona midfielders Xavi and Cesc Fabregas and Ramos did not take part in Monday’s training session and instead worked in the gym, the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) said on the national team’s website (www.sefutbol.com).
Wednesday’s game at Atletico’s Calderon stadium is a repeat of the Euro 2012 final, which Spain won 4-0, and they also beat Italy on penalties in the semi-finals of last year’s Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Diego Costa has revealed his delight at being named in the Spain squad to face Italy next Wednesday.
La Roja play the Azzurri in a friendly at Vicente Calderon, and the Atletico Madrid striker has admitted that he is honoured to have been called up by Coach Vicente Del Bosque.
“I really liked the way Del Bosque spoke to me. “I’m very happy about being called up by Del Bosque, and it’s very special because the game against Italy is in the Calderón,” he told Canal +.
“I told him I didn’t want to be called up for Spain if anyone was going to be upset by it, because they’re the best and the group is what’s most important. I’m going to give my all for the shirt.”
The first Spain national football team was constituted in 1920, with the main objective of finding a team that would represent Spain at the Summer Olympics held in Belgium in that same year.
Spain made their much anticipated debut at the tournament on August 28, 1920 against the national team of Denmark (runners-up in the last 2 previous Olympic tournament). The match took place at the Stade Joseph Marien in Brussels, Belgium. The Spanish managed to win that match by a scoreline of 1–0 thanks to a goal from Patricio Arabolaza, who became the author of Spain’s first international goal. This match would also make Spain at that time the 28th nation to play a football match. In their next match stage, Spain were set to play their next game against the host themselves Belgium, in that match Spain couldn’t come up with the victory and lost 1–3.
The host Belgium ended up winning the tournament after the Czechoslovakians were disqualified for leaving the pitch in the middle of the final game, thus Spain and another 3 national team were giving the chance to play a small consolation tournament were the winner would win either the silver or bronze medal. Their first match in this new Quarter-finals was played against Sweden in which the Spanish came from a goal behind to win 2–1 at the very end. José María Belauste and Domingo Acedo were the scores of that game. The following match was played against Italy. Félix Sesúmaga managed to score the two fabulous goals that would give the Spanish a 2–0, eliminating the Italians and giving them the victory to send them to the semi-finals of the tournament (Until Euro 2012, this had only been the only time Spain had beaten Italy in an official match). The final four teams were Spain, Netherlands, France, and Czechoslovakia. But only the Netherlands advance to final match against Spain due to France not showing up and the Czechs being disqualified previously. In the final match, Spain defeated the Dutch 3–1 with two goals from Félix Sesúmaga and one from Pichichi. With this, Spain won the silver medal at the Olympics and their first international silverware at any tournament.
The medalist at that Olympic tournament were: Domingo Gómez-Acedo, Patricio Arabolaza, Mariano Arrate, Juan Artola, Joaquín Vázquez, José María Belauste, Sabino Bilbao, Ramón Eguiazábal, Ramón “Moncho” Gil, Ricardo Zamora, Silverio Izaguirre, Rafael Moreno “Pichichi”, Luis Otero, Francisco Pagazaurtundúa, José Samitier, Agustín Sancho, Félix Sesúmaga and Pedro Vallana with the coach at that time Paco Bru.
A very successful event for the national team, although it would take many years later to achieve that success again.
The Spanish supreme court ordered the French newspaper to pay the Madrid team 300,000 euros, and Barcelona the remaining 15,000 euros following an article published in December 2006.
It wrote that it had seen handwritten notes by Eufemiano Fuentes over ‘preparation plans’ for the two teams. The doctor had previously been found guilty of endangering public health and given a suspended jail sentence in the Puerto cycling case.
Le Monde had appealed to the supreme court after provincial courts ruled in favour of the Spanish teams. Barcelona had sued for the same amount as Madrid but received less due to a technical oversight in its complaint.
Spain’s traditional kit is a red jersey with yellow trim, accompanied by dark blue shorts and socks while their current away kit is a sky blue shirt with a stripe in the chest area and navy trim accompanied by white shorts with navy trim. The colour of the socks altered throughout the 1990s from black to the same colour as the blue shorts. Spain’s kits have been produced by manufacturers including Adidas (from 1982 until 1984), Le Coq Sportif (from 1984 until 1992) and Adidas once again (since 1992).
Their current home kit designed by a team led by Daniel Newlan at Adidas, is a lighter red than usual along with light blue shorts and red socks, similar to the older 2006 kit. A third kit is sometimes used and is usually blue with red and yellow trim. Rather than displaying the logo of the Spanish football federation, Spain’s jersey traditionally features the coat of arms of Spain over the left breast. After winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the World Cup winners badge was added to the right breast of the jersey and a golden star at the top of the Spanish coat of arms.
The Spain national football team represents Spain in International association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque. The Spanish side is commonly referred to as La Roja, La Furia Roja , La Furia Española or simply La Furia. Spain became a member of FIFA in 1904 even though the Spanish Football Federation was first established in 1909. Spain’s national team debuted in 1920. Since then the Spanish national team have participated in a total of thirteen of nineteen FIFA World Cup and nine of fourteen European Championships. It has a total of 73 international titles in senior and youth teams.
Spain are the reigning World and European champions, having won the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. The national team are currently ranked number 2 in the World Football Elo Ratings and 1 in the FIFA World Ranking. They also won Euro 2008, making them the only national team so far with three consecutive wins of either the applicable continental championship or the World Cup. Spain currently holds the record for the most consecutive competitive matches unbeaten with 29. These achievements have led many commentators, experts and former players to rank the current Spanish side as the best ever international side in world football.
To mark the year of the World Cup in Brazil which Spain will be defending this summer, The BritishSpanish Society is hosting a very special and exciting event. The evening will kick-off with a panel discussion by expert football commentators followed by a reception of Spanish food and wine prepared by one of London’s top chefs at Hispania, the City of London’s most popular new venues.
This discussion will be followed by delicious tapas prepared by Michelin starred chef Marcos Morán at Hispania. The venue located in the magnificent former Lloyds Bank headquarters in the heart of the City, and designed by the renowned interior designer and antique dealer Lorenzo Castillo, offers a unique experience of Spanish lifestyle, gastronomy and culture in London – a perfect venue for an event that brings together the best of both Britain and Spain.
We are delighted to be able to welcome to this event Guillem Balague, leading pundit on Sky TV’s La Liga, Simon Kuper, Financial Times’ star columnist, Jimmy Burns Marañon, Chairman of The BritishSpanish Society, along with Enrique Ruíz, Director of the Spanish Tourist Office in London. Our guest speakers will open the event and pay tribute to Spanish football, discussing everything from the sport’s British roots through to the success, strategy and traditions of Spanish top division clubs like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, the important contribution of top Spanish players to the Premier League, and the success and prospects of Spain’s national team, La Roja.
The event is supported by the Spanish National Tourist Office and Cuatrecasas.