FIFA World Cup 2010: Where are the title-winning Spanish players now?
It has been a decade since La Roja went on to lift the trophy against all odds.
Spain made history in 2010 by winning the FIFA World Cup crown for the first time in their history. The victory also stemmed from years of slowly rising up the ladder as the world’s best national side. Vicente Del Bosque’s side were packed with some of the best footballers on the planet and used their superiority to grind their way to the title.
But in doing so, they displayed some scintillating football as well. By mirroring Barcelona’s possession-based style, La Roja dominated teams and produced some wonderful stuff. They showcased an unbreakable character and dug their way through the best national sides to their victory.
Hardly a few of the title-winning squad are still active footballers, with most retiring to do other stuff. Khel Now takes a look at where the title-winning squad members are right now.
The title-winning captain was an unbreakable wall for Spain in the World Cup, clinching six clean sheets and the Golden Glove trophy as well. Casillas announced his retirement from football earlier this year after suffering a stroke. He now intends to stand as a candidate in the Spanish Football Federation’s Presidential which has been indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Valdes didn’t feature for Spain, but got the World Cup medal nonetheless. The former Barcelona keeper retired from active football in 2017 and has since been working on becoming a coach. He now manages fourth-division Spanish club UA Horta.
Just like Valdes, Reina didn’t get any minutes in the World Cup either. He’s currently on loan at Aston Villa but is owned by AC Milan, where he should return once the season is over.
The former Real Madrid full-back earned his medal despite featuring majorly on the bench in the World Cup. He retired from football in 2017 and was recently appointed as the manager of freestyle Youtube club Mambo FC.
Albiol was still an up-and-coming defender in 2010 so didn’t get the opportunity before the regulars. He still managed a medal for being part of the squad and has used that experience to have a decent career. Albiol currently plays for Villarreal, having made 29 appearances for them this season.
Ramos was actually still a right-back and played a crucial role in maintaining that fantastic defensive record in 2010. He’s now matured into a no-nonsense centre-back, who’s won four Champions League titles with Real Madrid and is looking for add to his tally with Los Blancos.
Pique’s composed work helped Spain’s possession-based style a lot as he was one of their breakout stars from the World Cup. He’s now evolved into a leader at Barcelona, with whom he’s fighting to win the La Liga and Champions League titles this season.
Puyol was an uncompromising leader figure for Spain in 2010, with his rough defensive style rattling many strikers. He even scored the winner against Germany in the semi-finals to usher his side into the final. The former Barcelona captain retired in 2014 and is now working as a social campaigner.
Marchena came off the bench a couple of times in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, playing a small role in Spain’s joy. He retired in 2015 after playing one season at Kerala Blasters and last worked as an assistant coach of the Spanish national team in 2018. Marchena’s currently looking for his new venture in his coaching career.
Capdevila was a regular left-back for Spain throughout the 2010 World Cup, with his gritty defensive style and attacking influence helping them dominate that side. The Spaniard played one season for NorthEast United, before retiring in 2017 after which he’s stayed away from the beautiful game.
Navas played a few games for Spain in 2010, troubling opponents with his pace. He’s had a pretty good club career since and currently plays for Sevilla, operating in a right wing-back role these days.
Like Navas, Pedro was also used on a couple of occasions by Del Bosque but started in the final against the Netherlands. He had a glittering career at Barcelona before enjoying some success at Chelsea, for whom he’s scored two goals in 17 appearances this season.
Mata also made a few substitute appearances for La Roja in the tournament as an up-and-coming youngster in 2010. The Spaniard is currently playing a rotational role for Manchester United, having scored three goals and assisting five in 31 appearances this season.
Martinez was used to see off games by Del Bosque on occasions in 2010, giving him valuable experience in the World Cup. The Spaniard’s injury-prone manner has hindered his career, but he’s still doing a good job as a utility player at Bayern Munich.
The majestic Spaniard was quite unfortunate not to get many minutes in the World Cup due to the competition in midfield. He’s grown in stature since then, becoming a bonified legend at Manchester City, for whom he’s scored 74 goals and assisted 137 in 427 appearances.
Fabregas was also unfortunate not to get many appearances in his bag during the World Cup, only playing a few minutes for Spain. Nonetheless, he got the World Cup medal and went onto enjoy a lot of success with Barcelona and Chelsea in the preceding years. The Spaniard now plays for AS Monaco, whom he’s aided a lot by donating part of his wages during the coronavirus outbreak.
Alonso was a reason for Spain’s dominance in the competition, with his brilliant passing ability and defensive sturdiness keeping things clean and tidy. After being a pivotal part of the World Cup-winning side, he enjoyed success in club level with Real Madrid and FC Bayern Munich as well. He’s currently the manager of Real Sociedad B and aims to climb onto becoming a top-level boss.
Sergio Busquets introduced himself to world football in style with his impressive work in the 2010 World Cup, acting as a perfect midfield anchor. He’s since gone onto win over 20 titles with Barcelona and remains a core member of their first-team.
Xavi proved himself as one of the best midfielders of his generation with his incredible work dictating Spain’s dominance in the 2010 World Cup. He had a glittering career at Barcelona before retiring last year at Qatar side Al Sadd. He’s been working as their manager ever since and even helped them reach the semi-finals of the AFC Champions League last season.
Iniesta evolved into the Spanish hero in 2010, clinching the World Cup with his infamous strike in the final against the Netherlands. The sensational midfielder wowed fans with his work at Barcelona, whom he left in 2018. Iniesta currently plays for Vissel Kobe, still working his magic for the Japanese side.
The towering striker was used on a few occasions by Del Bosque in 2010, for which he was awarded with a medal. He’s currently playing at Serie A side Napoli, having made 24 appearances and has scored four goals this season.
Torres was at the height of his powers in 2010, but couldn’t make the kind of impact required from him. He failed to score a single goal. Torres had a topsy-turvy career after that and retired last year after spending his final days at J-League side Sagan Tosu.
Villa proved just how good he is in 2010, emerging as Spain’s hero in the World Cup. He scored five goals, winning the games against Portugal, Paraguay and Honduras single-handedly. After an illustrious career, he retired from football last year and is now an owner of Queensboro FC, who will be playing in the United States League Championship (USLC) from 2021 onwards.
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