Spain Manager Vicente del Bosque Identifies Rivals for Euro 2012 Crown


March 12, 2012

Spain Manager Vicente del Bosque Identifies Rivals for Euro 2012 CrownVicente del Bosque knows opponents are gunning for Spain’s title as king of international soccer. The reigning world and European champion will look to defend its crown at this summer’s European Championships. reports Del Bosque knows exactly which teams pose the greatest threat at the tournament.

“After what they showed at the World Cup and since then, it will above all be the teams from the Netherlands and Germany,” reports Del Bosque told Kicker Magazine.

“Behind there are four teams who can win it,” he said. He then mentioned Portugal and their free-scoring star Cristiano Ronaldo as a dark-horse capable of winning it all. The Portuguese have “one of the best players in the world in [Cristiano] Ronaldo and a solid team,” del Bosque noted.

In 2010, Spain became only the second team to ever win the FIFA World Cup while holding the European Championship title (West Germany accomplished the feat in 1972-74 ). If Del Bosque leads the Spanish to glory this summer, it will go down as (arguably) the most successful team in international soccer history.

The Netherlands and Spain, who finished runner-up and third place, respectively, at the 2010 World Cup, are the other favorites. The Netherlands lost the final to Spain in extra-time. Germany impressed observers with its new style of play that blended classic traits of robust efficiency with speed and imagination.

Portugal has been among the top teams in world soccer for over a decade, and Ronaldo will look to cement his standing with some standout performances.

Spain will begin its defense on June 10, when it faces Italy. The final will be held on July 1 in Kiev, Ukraine. Del Bosque’s team has not buckled under the weight of the “favorites” tag before. He sees no reason why it should happen this time around.

“The entire team knows that as the reigning European champions, the heavy weight of responsibility lies on our shoulders,” he said. “But everyone on the team wants to defend our current position in world football, even if this task looks tricky.”

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Photo via Flickr/Universidad Europea de Madrid

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