Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Chink in the Spanish armor?

Spain heads to South Africa as one of the heavy favorites to lift the Jules Remit trophy (I still call it that I realize that trophy was "retired') on July 11th. However could Espana have suffered a minor blow to their aspirations? News out of the Spanish camp is that Iniesta picked up a ding during their complete destruction of Polska in their last friendly. Iniesta has been battling this injury during the tail end of the Barcelona season. Word is the injury is minor thigh injury, but not a tear. We shall see. Clearly the Spanish midfielder has not fully recovered from this nick that has been bothering him enough so to force him out a number of Barcelona matches. The problem with any injury, as minor as it might be thought, to the thigh is that it always appears to be difficult for a footballer to properly heal while still keeping up a high level of training. It is a painful reminder for me about what happened to Zidane in 2002 and the subsequent impact it had on Les Bleus. Zizou picked up a minor thigh injury, a small tear, which basically made him a non factor as France crashed out of the World Cup.

While I do not foresee such a dramatic impact on the Spanish side, a side that is ridiculously deep, the one player that would be difficult to replace is Iniesta. Something to keep an eye on. Spain have time to get things right, they do not start their tournament until the 16th when they face the Swiss. I am sure that Spain will look to secure their place to the knock out stages as soon as possible to allow Iniesta et al to get more rest.

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