Spain vs. France: Players Sure to Make an Impact in 2014 World Cup Qualifier

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IOctober 16, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12:  Andres Iniesta of Spain takes on Ashley Cole of England during the international friendly match between England and Spain at Wembley Stadium on November 12, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Spain and France will clash in the Vicente Calderon on Tuesday to settle the score in a pivotal 2014 World Cup qualifying match. 

The Spanish have won their last two World Cup qualifiers, beating Georgia and Belarus by a combined score of 5-0; while the French have won their last two qualifying matches as well, beating Finland and Belarus. 

La Roja will have the edge playing in front of their home supporters, but France has one of the world's top squads and should be considered a threat to upset the defending World Cup champions in Madrid on Tuesday. 

Here we get you set with everything you need to know for the can't-miss showdown.


Where: Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid

When: Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Start Time: 3:00 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN2

Live Streaming:



Sergio Ramos, Spain


The 26-year-old is among the most athletic defenders in football when healthy and has the ability to get forward with the ball and help mount an offensive attack for Spain.

Ramos has six goals in 96 appearances for Spain's national team since 2005. One of Ramos' most recent international goals came against France in a friendly match back in March 2010. Don't be surprised if Ramos gets a few looks at the goal on Tuesday.

Otherwise, he's guaranteed to play like a stud at the back in front of Spain's net. 



Franck Ribery, France


Franck Ribery, a speedy French winger, has netted four goals for the national team since May 2012, and is well known by fans of Bayern Munich. 

Ribery assisted on 20 goals and scored 12 of his own in 28 Bundesliga matches a season ago with Bayern. The 29-year-old's quickness while on the ball makes him extremely tricky to defend against. 

Look for Ribery to give Spain's defense some problems on Tuesday. He'll have to make the most of his limited opportunities against the defending World Cup and European champions.



Andres Iniesta, Spain


Spain's small but crafty midfielder is one of the most underrated stars in world football. Whether he's controlling the pace for Barcelona in La Liga or helping Spain's national team fend off a late charge in the World Cup final, Iniesta is rarely off his game. 

Iniesta has 75 appearances for the national team since 2006 and has scored once for La Roja this year. Expect Iniesta, along with Xavi, to dictate the flow of the game in midfield. Spain is, of course, notorious for maintaining possession through the short-passing game. 


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