The success story of Spain

Updated: 29 June 2012 16:43 IST

Ever wondered what makes a team special? It's players, the management, or the style of football it plays. What is it that makes Spain special? A team once regarded as under achievers and how they are now dominating world football at both the club and international stage.

Ever wondered what makes a team special? It's players, the management, or the style of football it plays. What is it that makes Spain special? A team once regarded as under achievers and how they are now dominating world football at both the club and international stage.

They became the champions of the world in 2010 and the champions of Europe in 2008. Now, they are just one step away from retaining that trophy. If Spain win they will become the first nation to win 3 consecutive major tournaments.

Rome wasn't built in a day and nor was the team that has come to be known as the invincibles. Till 2008 they hadn't even won a single major international tournament apart from the 1964 European Championship.

Spanish Football's success can be attributed to a deliberate policy called the 'Fidelity strategy' - That of promoting young home grown players. Consider this, 77 percent of the players in La Liga are Spaniards. Compare that with England where only 40 percent of Premier League players are English and qualify to play for the national team.

The success of Barcelona at the club level also helped the Spanish national side. Most of whom have been home grown at Barcelona's youth academy. For the last 2 years, all the contenders to win the best player award are players currently playing in Spain: Andres Iniesta ,Xavi Hernandez, Cristiano Ronaldo, and current holder Lionel Messi. Add to that, Spanish Club Barcelona have won the Champions League twice in the last 3 years.

Spain's success can largely be attributed to a possession game called Ticki-Taka with the focus on short passes. At this Euro, Spain has been bullish when it comes to keeping possession of the ball, averaging a whopping 70.3 percent per game. That's 11 percent higher than the next best on the list. In fact, Spain also average 699 passes per game. France are a distant 2nd with 501.

You've heard of bleed blue. This Spanish team's spirit is such that they bleed red. So, expect more damage come Sunday.

Topics : Football Euro 2012 Barcelona Lionel Andres Messi Spain Alou Diarra Lech Poznan
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