European Champions Spain bring good form and a European title to South Africa , where they hope to add the Confederations Cup to their recent string of successes.
The consensus favorite to take the title at the 2009 Confederations Cup, Spain has not lost since November 2006 and is riding an unbeaten streak of thirty two matches into Sunday's opener against New Zealand in Rustenburg.
If they can run the table at the Confederations Cup , Spain will pass Brazil for the longest ever unbeaten streak in international soccer history. With history on the line, forward David Albiol says Spain is anxious to get going.
Albiol says the Spanish side is eager to continue their winning streak, which has continued through a series of World Cup qualifiers, after the Spanish triumph at the European Championships held in Austria and Switzerland last summer.
Led by a number of players recognized as among the best in the world, including striker Fernando Torres, midfielder Xavi Hernandez, and goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Spain is seen by most experts as strong Confederations Cup favorites. The defending World Cup champion Italy and veteran Brazil are also have good change to win this cup.
The Spaniards head up Group A, along with host nation South Africa , Asian champions Iraq , and Oceania champions New Zealand . The group is considered a weak one in which Spain will easily assert its dominance, but midfielder Albert Riera says all opponents should be taken seriously.
Riera says good teams have fallen in the past by overlooking seemingly inferior opponents. He says Spain is its own greatest rival, in the sense that if they continue to do things well, it will be difficult for any team to beat them.
After their opening round match in Rustenburg, the Spaniards travel south to Bloemfontein to take on Iraq and hosts South Africa.