The only side to underachieve in major international competition anywhere near as much as the Dutch is Spain. Coming off their rousing victory in the 2008 European Championship, the Spaniards are considered one of the favorites in the 2010 World Cup. This is a team without a significant weakness, and draws heavily from FC Barcelona for its spine: Carlos Puyol, Xavi Hernández, and Andrés Iniesta. Add in Xabi Alonso, Cesc Fàbregas, David Villa, and Fernando Torres and this team is simply stacked. The only player missing from the squad who played a significant role in the 2008 Euros is holding midfielder Marcos Senna, and it will be interesting to see if an another attacking midfielder moves into the starting XI, or if Vicente del Bosque opts for a destroyer like Sergio Busquets. There’s some concern with whether or not Torres will recover from a knee injury in time to be effective the in Cup, but in this team there’s more than enough firepower to overcome his absence.
Spain will breeze through it’s group (Chile, Switzerland, and Honduras), and could be matched up with Cote D’Ivore (though it looks as though Drogba is out with a broken arm) or face fellow Iberians Portugal in the second round, before likely facing Italy in the quarterfinals.
Here’s the best tribute video I could find… it’s also a bit bizarre.