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How Spain qualified for the 2010 World Cup

After finally lifting the weight of not having won a major championship since 1964 with their triumph at Euro 2008, Spain embarked on their World Cup qualification campaign bidding to win the tournament for the first time in their history.

With a fearsome strikeforce of David Villa and Fernando Torres and a creative backbone of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas, Spain are one of the favourites for the upcoming tournament in South Africa but first had to go through the lengthy process of qualifying.

The group draw held no fears for a rampant Spanish side with Turkey looking the biggest obstacle and Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina providing other capable opposition.

The campaign began with great expectations as the team welcomed Bosnia to Murcia. However, the away side provided a stern test and only a single David Villa goal in the 58th minute could seperate the two sides. Two more goals from Villa then helped Spain to a  comfortable 4-0 home victory over Armenia before a comprehensive 3-0 victory away to Estonia.

A tricky match away to Belgium was next up for the Spanish. An early goal for Wesley Sonck made for an interesting game. However, Spain thought back with an Andres Iniesta goal and an 88th David Villa strike to win 2-1. The team kept their 100% record intact with a tightly contested 1-0 home victory over Turkey with Gerard Pique grabbing the only goal.

The reverse match against Turkey was expected to be the toughest of the group for Spain. An early goal for Semih Senturk ensured Spain would have to show their best form to get anything out of the match. A Xabi Alonso penalty looked to have rescued a point for the team. However, they went one better as Liverpool winger Albert Riera scored in the 92nd minute to make the score 2-1.

The result meant that Spain had won 6 out of 6 matches and were pretty much qualified for South Africa 2010. A fantastic 5-0 home victory against Belgium followed before another home win, this time against Estonia guaranteed their place at the tournament next summer.

An underwhelming 2-1 victory away to Armenia was next before a trip to second place Bosnia. Spain destroyed a normally resolute Bosnia team with five goals in normal time. Two stoppage time consolations made the score look more respectable at the final whistle for Bosnia but nobody could deny that Spain were the favourites to win the World Cup after a 100% record in qualifying.

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