euro champs chase glory

EUROPEAN champions Spain arrived in the country yesterday to chase glory and records at the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup.

EUROPEAN champions Spain arrived in the country yesterday to chase glory and records at the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup.

Wet, cold winter conditions greeted the star-sprinkled Spaniards.

They face likely Group A whipping boys New Zealand on Sunday in the North-West fresh from a 6-0 mauling of Azerbaijan on Tuesday night.

Spain have gone 32 matches without losing. Their last loss was at home to Romania in a 2006 friendly. They are three wins short of matching a record set by Brazil 13 years ago.

And if the Euro 2008 winners defeat New Zealand and Iraq in Bloemfontein three days later, they will share with Brazil and France the feat of 14 consecutive victories. A win against Bafana Bafana will secure the record.

Veteran coach Vicente del Bosque, who replaced Luis Aragones after the Euro 2008 final triumph over Germany in Vienna, has already claimed a place in the record books with 10 wins on the trot since taking over a national team.

Famous Brazilian Joao Saldanha held that record for 40 years and Del Bosque came close to having his hopes of overtaking it dashed two months ago in Turkey where Albert Riera snatched a stoppage-time winner in a World Cup qualifier.

Spain, world champs Italy and defending Confederations Cup champs Brazil are favourites to win the tournament with South Africa, Iraq, New Zealand, Egypt and the US completing the line-up. - Sapa-AFP

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