This is part two of a three-part series leading up to Sunday’s World Cup Final.  Part 1 can be read here.


Spain at a glance:

Capital: Madrid

Population: 46,030,109

Per capita GDP: $31,946

Press Freedom Index: 44th freest in the world

Corruption Perception Index: 32nd least corrupt

World Cup Record (including 2010): 55 matches: 27 wins, 12 draws, 16 losses

How they got here:

Group H:

Spain 0 – Switzerland 1

Spain 2 – Honduras 0

Spain 2 – Chile 1

Round of 16:

Spain 1 – Portugal 0

Quarterfinals:

Spain 1 – Paraguay 0

Semifinals:

Spain 1 – Germany 0

Why you should support Spain:

They could become the first team to win the World Cup after losing their opening match. Switzerland stunned Spain 1-0 when Gelson Fernandes scored near the beginning of the second half.  It turned out to be the Swiss’ only goal of the tournament.

They are the defending European Champions. Only the 1974 West Germany squad won the World Cup as the reigning Euro champs.

They’ve never been to the Final before. This is Spain’s first appearance in the World Cup Final.  Their previous best performance was fourth place in the 1950 Cup.

Spain is a beautiful country. Spain is full of historic architecture and boasts a stunning Mediterranean coastline.  Plus the island of Ibiza is famous for its parties and even has a genre of house music named after it.

A native of Ibiza

They keep their players at home. Only four members of Spain’s 23-man roster play their club football outside of the country.  Those four all play in the English Premier League.

They have a badass nickname. The Spanish side is commonly referred to as “La Furia Roja “or as we gringos say, “The Red Fury”.  The name is a perfect way to describe their unrelenting, controlled-possession style of play.  It’s also a perfect way to describe female menstruation.

David Villa could become Spain’s all-time leading scorer. In addition to competing with Wesley Sneijder for the Golden Boot, the Barcelona striker is one goal away from matching Raúl’s record of 44 goals.  It took Raúl 102 caps to achieve the mark, but Villa could do it in just his 64th appearance for the national team.

They gave us the Spanish language. Univision is my preferred station for World Cup games.  Their announcers are so much more energetic than the boring British crew calling games on the World Wide Leader.  By this point you know everything you need about the teams so the announcers don’t really add anything to the game.  Even if you don’t know a single Spanish word, the Univision announcers will have you on the edge of your seat for most of the match.

Read Part 3: Why you should support the Netherlands

Tyler