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FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 - Spain look to avenge earlier losses

Ramazaan 15, 1432 Hijri February 03, 2014

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 Spain look to avenge earlier losses
27th Jun, 2006 13:22:30 PM

Top Stories
Spain grab World Cup with extra-time goal
Germany edge Uruguay to claim third place
Spain make maiden World Cup final
Viva Espana! Spain euphoric at semi-final win
Netherlands beat Uruguay in World Cup semi
Portugal out: Villa strike puts Spain into quarter-finals
Japan lose to Paraguay in shootout
Brazil defeat Chile 3-0, face Dutch in last eight
Dutch advance after victory over Slovakia
Tevez double puts Argentina into last eight
 Kamen: A quick glance at the history books suggests the World Cup second round showdown between France and Spain is balanced on a knife edge.

Spain have won 11 of their previous 27 meetings and France 10.

However, a closer examination of the statistics make worrying reading for Spain fans as their national team have never beaten the French in a competitive match.

Although they have never met in a World Cup, on the five occasions the two sides have played in competition, France have won four. The only time they failed to come away with the victory was when they drew 1-1 in the group stages of Euro 96.

The last time the two sides crossed swords in an official match was at Euro 2000, a Zinedine Zidane-inspired France winning 2-1 after Raul fired a last-minute penalty over the bar.

Les Bleus went on to add the European crown to the world title they had won in 1998.

In previous meetings, two defeats to France in qualifying meant that Spain missed out on the 1992 European championships, but the bitterest defeat of all came in the final of the same tournament in 1984.

Spain had high hopes of regaining the European title they had won 20 years earlier, but things started to go wrong when Luis Miguel Arconada secured a place in the goalkeeping chamber of horrors for letting a Michel Platini free kick squirt under his body and across the line.

France emerged winners 2-0, while the defeat left a permanent scar on the Spanish footballing psyche.

Today's match between Spain and France in Hanover will mark the 22nd anniversary of that ill-fated match.

Besides giving Spain a chance to bag their first competitive victory over France, the clash also sets up some intriguing duels.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas will get another chance to pit his skills against former Arsenal team mate Patrick Vieira in a contest that will embody the battle between the young guns of Spain and France's old guard.

The 19-year-old stepped into Vieira's shoes when the Frenchman left for Juventus last year and then cheekily outplayed his old master when Arsenal beat the Italians in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

This time though, Arsenal team mate Thierry Henry will be lining up on Vieira's side.

Spain skipper Raul, who will be celebrating his 29th birthday on the day of the game, will face his Real Madrid team mate Zinedine Zidane in what could be the Frenchman's last competitive match.

Raul has a score to settle because of his penalty miss in 2000 and is still looking to make his mark on the international stage after winning almost everything at club level.

After packing in club football at Real, Zidane is hoping for one last victory with the national side he inspired to World Cup success back in 1998.

France striker Henry is aiming to get the better of Spanish centre back Carles Puyol, something he failed to do when Arsenal lost to Barcelona in the final of the Champions League in Paris last month.

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GOAL COUNTER
28870

 Groups
Group A
Teams GP Points
Germany 3 9
Ecuador 3 6
Poland 3 3
Costa Rica 3 0
Group B
Teams GP Points
England 3 7
Sweden 3 5
Paraguay 3 3
Trindad Tob 3 1
Group C
Teams GP Points
Netherlands 3 7
Argentina 5 4
Ivory Coast 3 3
Serbia 3 0
Group D
Teams GP Points
Portugal 3 9
Mexico 3 4
Angola 3 2
Iran 3 1
Group E
Teams GP Points
Italy 3 7
Ghana 3 6
Czech Rep 3 3
U.S.A 3 1
Group F
Teams GP Points
Brazil 3 9
Australia 3 4
Croatia 3 2
Japan 3 1
Group G
Teams GP Points
Switzerland 3 7
France 3 5
Korea South 3 4
Togo 3 0
Group H
Teams GP Points
Spain 3 9
Ukraine 3 6
Tunisia 3 1
Saudi Arabia 3 1
Complete Groups 
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