Alonso Reckons Spain Are Ready – At Last!

Alonso Reckons Spain Are Ready – At Last!

Xabi Alonso finally believes the time is right for Spain to shine and reckons they are more than capable of challenging for the trophy at the Euro 2008 finals, regardless of the fact that their record of underachievement is worse than England’s in major finals.

While the Spaniards arrive at the finals as one of the favourites, history tells us they will probably flatter to deceive again, with Spain having repeatedly faltered on the biggest stage since they won the European Championships in 1964.

Alonso admits he can’t explain why his country has not performed in major tournaments, even with an embarrassment of riches seemingly always at their disposal. Even in Alonso’s own midfield position there are players of the calibre of Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta, and all are competing to partner Xavi, whose position is assured in the centre of the park.

Alonso’s season, rather like his team Liverpool’s, has stuttered and has been one of frustration. He did break his ankle though, missing three months of the season but rather than being downbeat about it says that the enforced absence has made him all the more fresher going into the Euros.

While the Spanish midfield contains a wealth of talented players, the attack is absolutely fearsome, with Fernando Torres, Alonso’s team mate at Liverpool anticipated as being one of the stars of the tournament.

Torres has enjoyed a phenomenal debut season at Liverpool, cementing his place in the hearts of the Anfield faithful already, and while Alonso agrees you cannot compare domestic football to the international variety, there is no reason why Torres cannot do well at Euro 2008 finals.

Back to the Spanish squad though and the greatest debate when the squad was announced was that of the exclusion of Real Madrid superstar, Raul. He had a great season to help Real win the title in Spain by churning out some brilliant performances, and because of this was generally expected to win a place in Spain’s twenty-three man squad. Nevertheless, the Spanish manager took the decision to give the youngsters a chance with Alonso forever the diplomat when asked his opinion on Raul’s omission, saying it was the manager’s choice and the players have to respect that.

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