Spain met Venezuela in an international friendly in Malaga, and as with their earlier meeting in Venezuela during La Roja’s tour of the America’s back in June 2011, the World Champions simply outclassed their opponents, this time giving them a 5-0 drubbing.
This match is considered a particularly important one, as it is the last appearance before the Euro 2012. Pundits have stated that the line-up for this particular match is indicative of the line-up for the upcoming tournament. That said, the key changes were that David Villa and Fernando Torres were not called up (and based from the 2010 World Cup line-up, Pedro Rodriguez, Raul Albiol, and Joan Capdevila were also not called up)—for varying reasons.
Villa’s still out with an injury, while Torres has faced an extended slump in form—so extended that it is pathetic already. Don’t get me wrong, I still love Fernando Torres, but I hate having to face the reality that we might have already seen the best from Nando.
In their place, Iker Muniain and Roberto Soldado have been called up. Muniain is a standout for La Rojita, while Soldado’s name has been floated for quite some time already. Soldado proved as to why there have been loud calls for him to get called up, scoring a hat-trick against the Venezuelans.
That said, I do think Soldado has solidified his spot in Spain’s line-up for Euro 2012. If anything, this now provides a different complexion to La Roja, apart from the unsightly light blue shirts (which I probably will buy anyway).