Casillas smells of victory

The Spanish National Team would meet their 50th match in the World Cups on the afternoon of June 16 against Switzerland. The World Cup in South Africa was the thirteenth in Spain and the ninth consecutive, since from Argentina 78, La Roja was never absent. But the difference between the 2010 edition and all the others is that For the first time Spain came as the current European champion, as a betting favorite and with a team that “only appears once every hundred years, when it appears”, as the German Hitzfeld said, the Swiss coach who, 24 hours later, would be the only team capable of defeating Spain in South Africa.

On the eve of the game the protagonist on the front page of the newspaper was Casillas, who was optimistic: “We come with the desire to proclaim ourselves champions.” Iker, captain of the National Team, also did not ring the bell on the fly, remembering the level of the rivals. Martino's Paraguay had managed to draw (1-1) against Italy and the Netherlands, magnificent, came from giving a blow of authority after their victory (2-0) against Denmark. Another of the struts of the Selection, Xabi Alonso, also spoke at AS: “We are looking forward to this beginning,” he said. Spain, because the draw had so arranged, was the last to debut. Del Bosque, the coach, warned of “the great difficulty of winning such a tournament, with teams with such a long history and with such great players”, but was “as responsible as it is excited” to do something great in the World Cup.

The man from Salamanca was not the only one who believed. After many disappointments, the 'quarterfinal curse' had taken hold of the Spanish fans who, for the first time in the World Cup in South Africa, seemed to shake the complexes. Spain had just conquered with authority the Euro Cup in Austria and Switzerland, after overcoming that 'quarterfinal curse' in a historic penalty shoot-out against Italy, which four years later it would completely destroy in the final of Euro 2012, in Kiev, with Casillas himself asking the referee for the end to avoid further suffering for the azzurri.

'The Red Tide 'was arriving in the city of Durban, in which the Selection began its journey against Switzerland. He did it 48 hours before the game to better adapt to the weather conditions, since Spain went from the cold of Potchefstroom, where La Roja trained every morning at no more than five degrees, to the temperate climate of the coastal city, capital of the South African province from Zulu-Natal. Thousands of Spaniards, almost ten thousand, were encouraged to make a flight of more than ten hours to cheer on La Roja. Among them are the then Princes of Asturias, Felipe and Letizia, today Kings of Spain. On the eve of the match against Switzerland everything was illusion. Spain smelled of victory …