This week marks the 5 year anniversary of Spain’s first ever World Cup victory and the 9 year anniversary of Italy’s fourth World Cup triumph.
As two World champions, Italy of 2006 and Spain of 2010 will be remembered as two of the best European Champions of all time. La Roja have made a bigger impact on world football because their ‘passing carousel’ tika-taka revolutionary style of play, but the Italians aren’t a side to be messed with either.
If an impossible match between the two sides was to ever take place, it would certainly a mouth-watering spectacle to behold.
But we will dare to ask the question: Spain 2010 vs Italy 2006 World Cup Winners: Who Would Win?
Taking a look at the line-ups gives a good indication as to who would come out on top. In 2010, a certain Iker Casillas led the Red Fury from the back and while he is considered to be one of the best keepers in modern football, Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon was in a class of his own in 2006.
At right-back, GianlucaZambrotta worked with his defensive duties and attacked from the flanks, something which his counterpart Sergio Ramos is arguably better at. And as a centre-back, Fabio Cannavaro had few peers and thus would easily walk into any line-up ahead of Gerard Pique.
Marco Materazzi is famous for another incident on the pitch and while his sublime abilities have never been in question, CarlesPuyol has led Barcelona to unparalleled success and would definitely usurp Materazzi’s position.
Fabio Grosso and Joan Capdevila are arguably matched for skill, but Capdevila would slightly edge it in terms of his experience as well as attacking tendencies. Spain had Xabi Alonso and Sergio Busquets in their midfield, while Italy had star duo GennaroGattuso and Andrea Pirlo. Pirlo would make the make the cut ahead of Alonso, while Busquets would slightly be ahead of Gattuso given his technical abilities on the ball.
Spanish midfield maestro Xavi Hernandez is perhaps rated as one of the players ever to have stepped on the pitch. And rightfully so, he would be ahead of any counterpart he came up again. Italy’s Francesco Totti and Luca Toni can rip defences to shred, but so can Andres Iniesta and Pedro when it comes to Spain.
Both the sides would be matched for power in their squads, but what would determine the outcome would be the style of play. Spain are highly renowned for their passing style of play but Italians are known to be perfect in defence and would be able to reply on their pacey forward line for goals on the counter.
In this impossible game, given La Roja’s history of retaining the lion-share of ball possession, they would be likely to strike early in the game and look to dominate the remaining minutes. But with Italy’s quick change of pace, a goal could be expected from them, turning the spectacular tie into a showpiece event towards the end.
And more often than not, retaining the ball can lead to goals. But even for that you need mental toughness and as exhibited in their inaugural World Cup triumph, Spain have that quality in abundance, as they left it late to score and come out on top.
That could well be the decider with Spain winning the game, albeit very narrowly in the closing minutes.
A game like this would definitely enthrall fans and experts alike, but sadly these two behemoths of the glorious past never came up against each other in their prime and one can only dream as to how such a spectacle would have looked like on the field.
Who do you think would win in a Spain 2010 vs Italy 2006 grudge match?
Would the famous Italian defense hold out, or would the Spanish tika-taka be too much for Gianluigi Buffon to handle? Let us know what you think in the comments section below for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.