World Cup 2010 Predictions: Will Spain Under Perform Again?

Ed WymanCorrespondent IJune 10, 2010

Spain have never won a World Cup, their best finish is 4th place in 1950. Since then their best showing was in 2002 when they made it to the quarter finals.

After winning the European competition in 1964, they went 44 years without winning a major tournament.

That streak was broken at Euro 2008.

If they were to win the World Cup, it would remove a major blemish on their record. That Spain have never won a World Cup is remarkable to say the least.

They failed to make the 2nd round in 1998, lost on penalties to South Korea in 2002 and lost in the second round both in Spain in 1982 and in 2006.

Could this time be different? Spain now have a "golden generation" of players including the likes of Fernando Torres, David Villa, Xabi, Iniesta and Casillas.

Not only do Spain have quality in their squad, they also have so much depth that even Victor Valdes has only just won his first cap.

Spain have won 45 of their last 48 games, recording only one loss. That kind of form suggests that Spain have developed the consistency necessary to perform successfully at the World Cup. 

This all makes Spain one of the favourites to win the competition, but the favourites tag will add more pressure to a team that constantly trying to throw off their "under-performers" tag.

They certainly have the players, the manager, and the staff to produce the goods.

Some of their players have played in the Premier League, often regarded as the best league in the world, while many play in La Liga which just keeps getting better and better.

The vast majority of the Spanish players come through the youth system, making it the envy of the whole world.

Spain have more UEFA qualified coaches than any other European country. In fact, you need the same qualification to coach in a school as you do to coach the national team. 

In most countries few qualifications, if any, are required to coach at schools.

The Spanish system means that the most talented players are spotted earlier than elsewhere, trained better and play against better players. The most is got out of everyone.

All of this has created a squad that has been playing a high standard of football from an earlier age than players from other nations.

Because of the management, the youth system and the players they have, this year could well be Spain's chance to show that they no longer deserve to be called under-performers.