Where are they now? Spain’s XI in their Euro 2008 QF win over Italy
Spain had impressed in the group stages of Euro 2008, but their biggest test lay ahead of them in the quarter-finals in Vienna – world champions and old enemies of Italy.
The Italians used to knock Spain out of major tournaments, but La Roja was no fault this time around. After 120 untouched minutes of play, Spain triumphed on penalties and won the competition. They won the next two for good measure.
We took a look at the Spanish formation that started a dynasty and what they are doing now.
The man known as “San Iker” in his home country, Casillas is widely regarded as Spain’s best goalkeeper of all time.
He was already well established at Real Madrid before an abnormal injury to Santiago Canizares saw him become Spain’s number one at the 2002 World Cup.
And Casillas was the hero against Italy six years later, saving shots on goal from Daniele De Rossi and Antonio Di Natale in the Vienna shootout.
Casillas retained his starting place throughout Spain’s golden age until his horror show against Arjen Robben in Brazil 2014. From there his career ended with a stint of five years in Porto.
The decorated goalkeeper retired in August 2020 and was appointed deputy CEO of the Real Madrid Foundation a few months later.
Warning Europe – Ramos is reportedly set to sign for PSG with one point to prove after being dumped by Real Madrid.
Take the popcorn and watch the fireworks fly away.
READ: Sergio Ramos and a tackle that perfects all his imperfections
Gerard Pique’s emergence after this tournament cemented his place as a starting center-back from Spain for the next decade, but it was Marchena who played in Austria and Switzerland.
The Valencia defender wowed fans across Europe with his scoring skills as Spain conceded just two goals when he was on the pitch.
After the Euro, Marchena spent a few more seasons at Mestalla before moving on to Villarreal, Deportivo and the Indian side of the Kerala Blasters.
He retired in 2016 and became coach of the Sevilla squad C. Marchena was last seen in Spain’s coaching staff at the 2018 World Cup.
One of the greatest center-backs of all time, Puyol excelled at Euro 2008 and scored an iconic winner against Germany in the 2010 World Cup semi-finals.
Captain of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team, Puyol won all the major honors available before his retirement in 2014.
He was immediately appointed assistant to Barca football manager Andoni Zubizarreta, but left six months later after Zubizarreta left.
Puyol has rejected an offer to become Barcelona sporting director in 2019.
Arguably the least popular starter of Spain’s Imperial teams, Capdevila provided defensive solidity as Spain failed to concede a goal in their three knockout matches in 2008.
The only Spanish starter in the 2010 World Cup final to have played neither for Real nor for Barca, the full-back spent four successful years at Villarreal before moving to Benfica in 2011.
He spent the rest of his career in various locations including Espanyol, India, Belgium and Andorra before hanging up his boots in 2017.
Andreas Iniesta (Santi Cazorla, ’59)
Two wonderful midfielders who continue their careers in lucrative Asian leagues.
Iniesta has helped redefine what it takes to play in midfield as a cornerstone of this wonderful Barca side. The pint-sized magician played 674 times for the club for 16 trophy-filled years before flying to Japan and Vissel Kobe in 2018.
We were surprised that Cazorla was an international footballer so long ago, but he scored an important penalty against Italy. A semi-regular presence during the Golden Years, Cazorla became a cult figure at Arsenal later in his career despite a string of injuries.
After two stays at Villarreal before and after his stay in England, Cazorla signed for the Qatari team of Al Sadd in 2020 where he still does tracks.
– BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 7, 2021
Senna was the unsung hero of the Euro 2008 victorious Spanish team and was one of nine Spanish players named to the UEFA tournament squad.
In fact, we love this guy so much that we’ve already talked about how good he is.
READ: The deferential dictator: Marcos Senna and the flowering of Spain’s golden age
Xavi (Cesc Fabregas, ’60)
There are civilizations in the Amazon rainforest untouched by human civilization who know that Xavi Hernandez was one of the greatest midfielders to ever play football.
Having won accolades and awards throughout his career including tournament player at Euro 2008, Xavi is currently emulating Michel Platini in endorsing Qatar’s questionable organization of the 2022 World Cup. he football administration is surely waiting for him.
His replacement in Vienna was a sensational player and it says a lot about Spain’s strength at depth that Fabregas was often used as a replacement.
Scorer of the winning penalty against Italy, Fabregas left Arsenal in 2011 to win more silverware. Spells at Barcelona and Chelsea certainly met his wishes with the midfielder winning ten major honors before moving to Monaco in 2019.
Fabregas was recently spotted working for the BBC at Euro 2020 and has expressed a desire to move into management after his playing days are over.
He told talkSPORT: “This is something that I love, I want to try. I learn, I study, I listen to a lot of different people and in football you still keep learning every day so I’m happy about that.
Many of Spain’s most legendary footballers ended their careers in the United States or Asia, but Silva took a different path.
After spending a decade collecting trophies at Manchester City, Silva moved to La Liga from Real Sociedad last summer and won the Copa del Rey against Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao.
Endowed with exceptional technical ability, Silva was an integral part of the Spanish procession until Euro 2012 and had also played all the important matches four years earlier.
He retired from international play after the 2018 World Cup after winning 125 caps for the national team. No wonder Vicente Del Bosque once called him the “Spanish Lionel Messi”.
David Silva joined Man City and won the FA Cup in his first season, the club’s first major trophy in 35 years 🏆
David Silva joined Real Sociedad and won the Copa del Rey in his first season, the club’s first major trophy in 34 years
El Mago 🧙♂️ pic.twitter.com/qrsOdvZgli
– ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 4, 2021
For all of Spain’s fascinating passing streaks, Villa was normally the one tasked with sticking the ball into the net. What he did. Regularly.
Top scorer at Euro 2008, the Valencia man also scored five goals in South Africa 2010 before injury excluded him from the next European Championship.
Villa’s qualities were recognized by Pep Guardiola, who made him the icing on Barcelona’s delicious cake after the World Cup. After three successful seasons, Villa signed for Atletico Madrid and won La Liga in his lone season for the club.
He then became somewhat of a gap year student and spent time in New York City, Melbourne and Vissel Kobe before retiring in 2020.
Villa was appointed Head of Global Football Operations for Indian Premier League team Odisha FC in May 2021.
Fernando Torres (Dani Guiza, ’85)
Scorer of the winner against Germany in the final, there is only one word to describe Torres these days – slave.
Substitute striker Guiza was one of the lesser known names of the Euro 2008 winning Spanish side. Slightly late, the Real Mallorca striker made his international debut at the age of 27 and scored the winning goal against Greece in the group stage.
It was the peak of his professional life. After winning both Euro 2008 and the La Liga Golden Boot in 2007-08, rumors began to circulate about Guiza. personal life and behavior in training.
Del Bosque stayed with him for another year, but Guiza failed to make the Spanish squad in 2010 and spent time playing in Turkey, Malaysia and Paraguay during an eclectic career. .
Now in his fifth decade, Guiza still plays for Cádiz-based Atlético Sanluqueno and scores goals in the fourth tier of Spanish football.
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