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The World Cup Of National Anthems: Part Four

For many people, major sports tournaments are the only occasion that national anthems are heard. These peculiar tunes have become a genre of their own, transcending the mere hymns that many of them were in first place, and they range from the gloriously uplifting to mournful dirges. The selection of words has, in many countries, brought about national debate that has been all-encompassing. In the case of Spain, it was decided that it would probably be for the best just to not bother having any for the sake of national unity.

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March 26, 2010

The Confederations Cup: Spain 0-2 USA

Yes, yes, yes. Spain had an off night. It has been a long season and their players may have been tired. And so on. Let’s drop the excuses, here. Spain, the European champions and, if you read the print media in much of Europe, already the World Cup winners a year before the tournament, were…

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June 24, 2009

The Confederations Cup: Spain 2-0 South Africa

South Africa, horns and all, have edged their way into the semi-finals of this year’s Confederations Cup, but their doing so has been something of a hollow victory for them, as we saw last night. Their procession through to the semi-finals was more about the shortcomings of others than about anything that they managed themselves….

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June 21, 2009

The Confederations Cup: Spain 1-0 Iraq

It took Spain 40 years to rebuild their national team into a championship-winning force, so 55 minutes was never going to be too long to wait.  Still, that’s how long they were kept at bay by Bora Milutinovic’s limited but very well-organised Asian champions. With ten men behind the ball throughout, Iraq stifled the Spanish…

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June 17, 2009

The Confederations Cup: New Zealand 0 – 5 Spain

Iker Casillas is a one club man. He first signed for Real Madrid Juniors at the age of ten, and has been at the Bernebau ever since. He has played almost three hundred and fifty matches for Real and, at the age of twenty-eight, has also made ninety-three matches for Spain as well. Considering that…

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June 14, 2009

The Confederations Cup – A (Very) Rough Guide

For some people, the end of the football season in years that end with odd numbers means a return to the real world. For two and a half months they become normal people, spending time with family and friends, allowing their sofas and their wallets to recover from the arduous few months that have just…

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June 13, 2009

Spain – European Champions

Spain, then, are the European champions and, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s difficult to argue a case against them winning it. Euro 2008, however, was just like that in many respects. How many times did you sit down in front of the television and think, “Well, they’re definitely going to win it”? At least…

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June 30, 2008
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