Sunday, 30 May 2010


Florence, 1934....Rio de Janeiro, 1950....Vina del Mar, 1962....Birmingham (UK) 1966....Mar del Plata, 1978....Madrid, 1982....Puebla, 1986....Verona, 1990....Foxborough, 1994....Lens, 1998.....Gwangju, 2002....Hanover, 2006.

What is the connection between these cities and the World Cup years?

These are the places over the years where the World Cup dreams of one nation have come to an end...Spain.

Perennial underachievers at international tournaments, Spain finally delivered in the European Championships two years ago, winning the competition in style.

They head to South Africa as rightful favourites to win what would be a first World Cup, and look to have all the ingredients in place for a successful campaign. When they play, they look like a well-oiled machine, and winning has become a habit.

Spain are in Group H and should win it, their three matches being against Switzerland, Honduras and Chile. If they do finish top they are likely to face a tough second round clash against the runners-up of Brazil's group, which contains North Korea, Ivory Coast and Portugal.

And if they don't win the tournament, which city will be the graveyard of their dreams in 2010?

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