Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has claimed that he does not know when Slovenian national team goalkeeper Jan Oblak will return to first-team action. The 21-year-old recently completed a £ 15 million move to Atletico. He has been playing at Benfica for the last few seasons, but he is regarded as one of the talented goalkeepers in the world. Atletico wasted no time in completing the deal after they were made clear that Thibaut Courtois will not be returning for a fourth consecutive loan spell from Chelsea.
Spain manager Vicente del Bosque is set to name his final 23 man squad shortly and he has said ahead of this occasion that it is difficult to pick every deserving player into the squad. Vicente del Bosque has an embarrassment of riches especially in the midfield position. As result, some important names are expected to miss out on the World Cup 2014. Due to this strength in depth, the former Real Madrid boss says that it was not possible to include many of the deserving players into the squad. Some of the high-profile names that will be absent from the World Cup 2014 include Real Madrid stars Isco and Alvaro Arbeloa.
Spain go into the World Cup 2014 as the strongest team in the competition. Manager Vicente del Bosque is expected to name his squad in the next couple of days. He has stated ahead of this announcement that he is still unsure about his squad because all of the players are playing extremely well. Del Bosque especially has a lot of options in midfield and this has only grown with the rise of Atletico Madrid as a real force in the Spanish la Liga. The likes of Koke have done extremely well with Atletico this campaign.
Pep Guardiola has defended his team selection for the weekend’s match against Augsburg after his team lost their unbeaten run in a long time. Bayern Munich came into the encounter after having not won the last two matches.
Yet, they have an imperious record of being unbeaten in 54 matches in the league. Due to the midweek Champions League quarter-final match against Manchester United in mind, Guardiola chose to rest a number of key players like Philipp Lahm, Arjen Robben, and Franck Ribery for this match. It ultimately proved to be the undoing for the German champions, as they lost the proud unbeaten record.
Spain have been handed a relatively easy to add to the Euro 2016 qualifying stages. They will come into the tournament as the current holders after having won the Euro 2012 with an emphatic victory over Italy in the final.
They have managed to win the last two editions of the European championships. Even more surprising is the fact that the current world champions have managed to do it without breaking a sweat. After having learnt about their group opponents in the Euro 2016 qualifying stages, there is relief in Spain since they avoided many big teams.
FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke has given a warning to all the host cities in Brazil that they cannot afford to relax because there are still a lot of work to be done.
Brazil were awarded the rights to host the World Cup 2014 several years ago, but work on improving the stadium infrastructure began only a few years ago. This has resulted in huge delays, which has even threatened the prospect of the tournament are being moved to another nation. However, it looks like the World Cup is set to go as planned in Brazil, but there maybe alterations in the host cities.
Spain's Vicente del Bosque, who guided the nation to a World Cup and European cup championship triumph in successful tournaments, says that he wants to win the World Cup again with the Spanish national team.
Spain are one of the favourites going into the World Cup 2014, which is going to be held in Brazil. This is after the three successive major titles since 2008. Many have been saying that Spain will not win this year's edition since they do not appear as balanced as they have done in recent past.
Spain suffered a stunning 1-0 defeat at the hands of minnows South Africa in a recent friendly match, which happened to take place in the same ground where Spain lift the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They came into the match as the current world champions, but this defeat has drained the positive mentality around the team ahead of the World Cup. Manager Vicente del Bosque said after the match that this was the worst performance he has seen from Spain.
Real Madrid recently sold midfielder Mesut Ozil to Arsenal in a £ 42.5 million deal that has surprised many because the German playmaker has been one of the best players for the club since his arrival in 2010.
He was brought to the club by former manager José Mourinho in a € 15 million deal from Werder Bremen. He has been the second best goal creator in the world in the last two years. He is only behind Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in this regard. It is widely believed that his presence was keyed towards Cristiano Ronaldo scoring as many goals he did in recent years.
Spain are coming to the end of a spectacular generation of footballers, who have defined the success that the nation has achieved in the last five years. Players like Carlos Puyol and Xavi will be soon retiring as they are in the twilight of their careers.
Puyol has been ravaged by injury problems in the last few years, while Xavi has also been slowing down in recent times. This has led to many believing that Spain's time of domination in the world stage has come to an end. The 2014 World Cup is likely to see the retirement of several key players.