Spain Team - 2014 World Cup Betting
Best Finish: Won in 2010
Manager: Vincent Del Bosque
Captain: Iker Casillas
Key Player: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Group B: With Australia, Chile and Netherlands
What are Spain's chances of repeating as World Cup champions? Well, only Brazil (1958, 1962) and Italy (1934, 1938) have managed to pull this feat off. But such a rare historical occurrence shouldn't keep the Spaniards from being one of the favorites in Brazil. Their recent international performances certainly suggest that Spain hasn't fallen off either. They beat Italy 4-0 to win EURO 2012 and took runner-up at the 2013 Confederations Cup.
Even more recently, they topped the UEFA Group I standings to earn this pool's lone automatic qualifying spot for the 2014 World Cup. This was certainly no easy feat either with France also in the group. But Spain beat France 1-0 and tied them 1-1 to secure four points from these meetings and coast towards a 6-2-0 qualifying record (W-D-L).
Now in the Cup for a 10th straight time, the Spaniards will look towards central midfielder Andres Iniesta to continue leading them. Iniesta can do it all from attacking to defending, and he possess tremendous passing, vision and pace. Xavier (Xavi) Hernández will once again team up with Iniesta to form one of the world's most dominant midfields. Xavi features pinpoint passing and an unparalleled dribbling ability that allows him to consistently find teammates for good shots.
Pedro will be one of the beneficiaries of both Xavi and Iniesta's passing. The smallish forward led Spain with four goals in UEFA Group I qualifiers and is almost guaranteed to add more goals during the 2014 World Cup.
Judging from the roster, it looks like this team will be relying on plenty of holdovers from the 2010 championship squad. Iniesta and Xavi have entered the backside of their careers and are four years older. Plus, they were outclassed by Confederations Cup champion Brazil in a 3-0 drubbing last year.
But age and a defeat to the Brazilians certainly isn't enough to count Spain out during their repeat attempt. This team is still excellent at maintaining possession and they've played at a high level for quite some time. So they're a great bet to at least reach the final four, and maybe even win their second consecutive Cup.