Watch Spain Live At Euro 2008
Spain will look to shrug off their tag of being perennial underachievers when they make their eighth appearance at the European Football Championship this summer in Austria and Switzerland. Spain's only major international trophy happens to be Euro 1964, when they hosted the tournament. This tournament will also bring down the curtains down on Luis Aragones' four year association with the Spanish national team- El Sabio de la Hortelaza will be replaced by Vicente Del Bosque when Euro 2008 ends. Can Aragones end his coaching stint by bringing home Spain's first European title in nearly four and a half decades ? We will get to find out by watching Spain live at Euro 2008. The Live Sport Network, a reputed UK based company, offers you the opportunity to watch live Euro 2008 at an extremely affordable £9.99. What is more, buying this package also entitles you to watch major games from the Spanish La Liga 24x7, free for one year.
Spain qualified as Group F winners, pipping Sweden by two points. Early in their campaign, Spain suffered twin setbacks when they lost 2-3 and 0-2 to Northern Ireland and Sweden respectively. However they went on to pick up 25 points from a possible 27 in their next nine games, and topped the group. Spain were the tenth team to qualify for Euro 2008.
At Euro 2008, Spain are in Group D, alongside Sweden, Russia and holders Greece.
List of Spain's fixtures at Euro 2008
June 10- Spain vs Russia in Innsbruck ( 18.00)
June 14- Sweden vs Spain in Innsbruck ( 18.00)
June 18- Spain vs Greece in Salzburg ( 20.45)
All timings in Central European Summer Time ( UTC + 2)
Spain did not take part in Euro 1960, but qualified for the next edition four years later. UEFA also gave them the right to host the tournament, and Spain became the first hosts to win a Euro on home soil. An extra time goal from Amancio was needed to see off Hungary's challenge in the semifinals. The USSR, winner of the inaugural edition, were their opponents in the final. Jesus Pereda gave Spain the lead in the sixth minute, but Galimzyan Khusainov equalised two minutes later. It was left to Marcelino to score the winner six minutes from time, and Spain hung on to win their first, and till date, only major international trophy.
Spain's next appearance was in 1980, when they were drawn in a tough group consisting of Italy, Belgium and England. They drew with Italy, and lost to the Belgians, before finishing their campaign with another loss to England.
At Euro 1984, Spain drew 1-1 with Romania and Portugal before beating favourites West Germany thanks to a late strike from Antonio Maceda. They ended up topping their group, and beat Denmark in the semifinals on penalties. All five Spanish kicks went in, but the Danes could not convert all five - Preben Elkjaer missed his spot kick, and Spain were into the finals. In the final, Spain were unable to stop a rampaging French team led by Platini, and went down 0-2.
At Euro 1988, they lost their decisive group game 0-2 to hosts West Germany, and finished third in their group. A disastrous Euro 1992 qualification campaign meant that their next appearance would be at Euro 1996. 1-1 draws with Bulgaria and France left them competing with the former for a spot in the next round. France beat Bulgaria 3-1, and Spain had Guillermo Amor to thank for the late goal that lifted them ahead of the Bulgarians. In their quarter final against England, Fernando Hierro and Miguel Angel Nadal missed their penalties, and Spain lost 2-4 on penalties.
At Euro 2000, Spain were in danger of being eliminated in their final group game. They were trailing 2-3 against Yugoslavia, and Norway were drawing 0-0 with Slovenia in Arnhem. A Spanish loss, coupled with a Norwegian win/draw would eliminate the former. However Gaizka Mendieta converted a penalty after Abelardo had been stopped by a rough tackle in the 90th minute, and then Alfonso Perez showed incredible skill to slam home the winner, with Yugoslavia's defenders still in their own half. Many acknowledge it to be one of the games of the tournament. Sadly, Spain were eliminated in their next game, losing 1-2 to eventual winners France.
Spain were one of the favourites at Euro 2004, drawn in what many considered to be an easy group, along with Greece, Russia and Portugal. However it was not to be so. Russia held their own till Juan Carlos Valeron penetrated their defence in the 80th minute, and Angelos Charisteas ensured that Greece would come out of their game against the Spanish with a point. Russia lead Greece 2-0 at the break, and Nuno Gomes gave Portugal the lead against Spain. At this stage, despite losing, Spain were still going to go through, but Zisis Vryzas' goal for Greece ensured that the Greeks went through just because they had scored more goals.
Despite Raul's great current form, the legendary Real Madrid forward will not find a place in Aragones' scheme of things. Aragones has always preferred the Fernando Torres - Villa pairing, and has generally gone for youth over experience. Barcelona's teenage wonderkid Bojan Krkic may find himself on the plane to Euro 2008, although, whether he will start is another question altogether. There are two great goalkeeping options for Aragones- Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina. Puyol in the centre, and Ramos on the right side of defence, are almost certain starters. Marchena may partner Puyol, with Capdevilla on the left. Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Joaquin, Riera, Albelda, Iniesta, Alonso and Senna will all fight out for starting in midfield. There is talent aplenty in this Spanish side, and Aragones will have to choose his best 11 after careful scrutiny.
Can Spain win Euro 2008? Or at least, repeat what they did in Euro 1984? Watch live football with us to find out the fate of La Furia at the European Football Championship 2008.
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