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Spanish hockey men will eye a turnaround after slump in form

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Current World Ranking # 5 (1650 points)

Clubbed with Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, Great Britain and Argentina in Pool A at the London Games.

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Best result: Won silver in 1980 Moscow, 1996 Atlanta and 2008 Beijing Games. They won a bronze at the 1960 Rome edition.

Last Olympics: Won Silver. Lost 0-1 to Germany in the final.

Spain's international performances declined after the 2008 departure of Maurits Hendriks who had led them to an Olympic silver and a World Cup bronze and also a Champions Trophy title. After Hendriks's exit, Spain finished fifth in the WC and two Champion Trophies besides getting the sixth rank at the 2011 European continental championships. They, however, finished second in the last year's Champions Trophy and it will be interesting to see whether the Spanish have really made a turnaround.

The Road to London:

Spain had failed to get a direct qualification after finishing sixth in the Europe's 2011 continental tournament. But lady Luck smiled on them when South Africa decided to take a route to the Olympics via the qualification round and let go their automatic qualification from the African continent. The ticket then went to Spain, just like Argentina managed in the women's section.

Players to watch out for:
Skipper Santi Freixa, one of the top skilled and powerful players in the world, is known for his passionate leadership. Edi Tubau, Pol Amat, Ramón Alegre, Sergi Enrique and goalkeeper Quico Cortes are other top guns in the side. Ten players in the current squad had played in the Beijing Games four years ago.

1. Fast, attacking strikers.
2. Experienced defence.
3. Unpredictable and creative play.


1. Inconsistent at times.
2. Lack of highly-specialised penalty-corner flickers.

Chances of progress at the London Games: 6/10
Spain have a good chance of making to the semi-finals but having said that they have to beat all odds against the likes of Australia, Pakistan and hosts Great Britain. The Spanish need to be more ruthless and fight for each point if they want to make a good progress in the London Games. Spain's campaign at the London Games will kick off against Pakistan on Jul 30.


Santi Freixa (c), Quico Cortes (gk), Juan Fernández, Manel Terraza, Ramón Alegre, Sergi Enrique, David Alegre, Roc Oliva, Marc Salles, Edi Tubau, Pol Amat, Pau Quemada, Litus Ballbe, Alex Fábregas, Miki DelÀs, Xavi Lleonart. P Accreditations: Andres Mir and Xavi Trenchs (gk).

Dani Martin, who had taken up the challenging task of Hendriks after the Beijing Games. Martin served as an assistant to Hendriks besides coaching the Spanish club, Atlètic Terrassa, which had produced some of Spain's biggest stars including Santi Freixa.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Monday, July 9, 2012, 14:10 [IST]
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