France welcomed Spain to Paris on Wednesday night in a glamour friendly ahead of this summers impending World Cup. Spain’s class showed through as they ran out easy victors, sending out a strong message of intent in the process. The win was their 42nd out of their last 45 games, form strong enough to worry any competitor this summer.
There were plenty of familar faces on show as some of the top players in La Liga and the Premier League lined out for their countries, including Ireland’s favourite football star, Thierry Henry (pictured below with Cesc Fabregas).
The early exchanges between the sides were tight, but Spain soon stamped their authority on the tie. Valencia’s prolific striker David Villa (pictured below) opened the scoring on the 20 minute mark, neatly slotting past Hugo Lloris in the French goal after Andres Iniesta’s throughball fortunately found its way toward his path.
The goal was Villa’s 36th for Spain inside just 55 appearances as the frontman fast approaches Raul’s record of 44 goals for the national team. The Spaniards domination continued and they added another just before halftime when right-back Sergio Ramos (shown celebrating below), cut inside and saw his effort deflect past a hopeless Lloris.
Spain were in cruise control and the second half afforded them the opportunity to try out some subtitutes, not that any would would know, given the strength of their squad. The quality at the Spaniards disposal is mind-blowing. Their midfield last night saw Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Marcos Senna (pictured with Lassana Diarra below), Cesc Fabrgegas, David Silva and Xavi Hernandez all feature at some point.
The second-half also brought the introduction of Fernando Torres (shown challenging with Bacary Sagna and Jeremy Toulalan below) as he continues his comeback from injury.
This was a fine win for Spain, and the scoreline flattered them in no way whatsoever. Indeed it could easily have been more. Both sets of players left the pitch upon the final whistle with little doubt over who would be the happier as a chorus of jeers rang around the stadium to heap further pressure on French boss Raymond Domenech.
Spain continue their march toward adding the Jules Rimet trophy to their European Chmapionship success of 2008, in this form, it will take a very good team to stop them.