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Spain infographic: No bull they’re the real deal

by Sean Goff | June 7, 2012

Infographic design: Eleonore Kellenberger. Words: Josh Powell and Sean Goff

What do you really know about Spain? Be honest.

Sunshine, Sangria, Siesta and plenty of the other normally found on the 110,000 Club 18-30 package holidays that prop up the Spanish tourist industry every Summer. Hangovers, Headaches and Pink Skin.

But for the next 30 days, the nation that has a strange affection for Bulls – either fighting them or avoiding being gored by them at Pamplona will try to win a third footballing Championship for the first time in football’s long and mainly proud history.

Spanish sides used to be perennial underachievers. But in the last five years the manuana mentality of a free-flowing footballing style was complemented by teak-tough defenders who thought it was their ball and you weren’t getting a go.

Diego Maradonna was at the receiving end – and it has to be said, the giving end – in an Atletico Madrid v Barcelona cup game hundreds of years ago (1984) when divisions between Catalonia, Community of Madrid and the Basque Country ran deep.

They’re almost all friends now of course but Ireland, Italy and Croatia shouldn’t expect too much charity when they face La Furia Roja in Group C.

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