Spain has a lot to live up to. They made history with three consecutive wins starting off in 2008 by taking home the UEFA European Championship. Two years later they narrowly beat out the Netherlands to win the 2010 World Cup and finally in 2012 they stomped all over Italy to emerge victors of the Euro Cup once again. Now, on the eve of one of the world’s biggest and most beloved sporting competitions, Spain is back to defend its title.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage kicks off this Thursday with fans around the world donning team jerseys and painting their cheeks with flags in a show of support. Spain is in Group B with three scheduled matches during round robin play. They’ll face off against formidable rival the Netherlands again, as well as Chile and Australia.
Mark your calendars and don’t miss these games:
- Friday, June 13 against the Netherlands at 9 o’clock
- Wednesday June 18 against Chile at 9 o’clock
- Monday, June 23 against Australia at 6 o’clock
If Spain finishes within the top two of Group B, they will progress to the knockout stage and hopefully make it all the way to the final match scheduled for Sunday, July 13.
COMO is no stranger to football fever. We both arrived in Spain just as the newly coined La Roja started making headlines for winning. We have celebrated Spanish victories by jumping in fountains in Palma de Mallorca, cheered along with hundreds in A Coruña’s Plaza de María Pita and paraded with flags down the cobblestone streets of Antequera, just to name a few. But this year we’re more excited than ever to be together and in our adopted hometown of Sevilla for the entirety of the World Cup.
How to watch
MediaSet Spain has once again purchased exclusive rights to World Cup matches in Spain. Twenty-five matches will be aired for free between three public channels: TeleCinco, Cuatro and Energy. For those interested in catching other matches try a bar or friend with a subscription to Gol Television or online streaming sites.
Spain’s three scheduled games will all air on TeleCinco.
Who to Watch
All eyes will be on Spain as they battle to join the ranks with Italy and Brazil as the only teams to have won back-to-back Cups. Captain Iker Casillas, considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, anchors a team with several returning World Champs who are still at the top of their game.
Host country Brazil will be strong, Argentina’s squad is deep (and world class player Lionel Messi is hungry for the Cup), and European teams like France, Italy, Portugal and Germany and the Netherlands should all make a strong showing.
Where to watch
There’s nothing like a rowdy crowd and a cold brew to enjoy a World Cup game. We suggest staking out a seat at a local bar with a large flat screen an hour or so before the coin toss. Local governments are also known to chip in by setting up large cinema screens in large parks and plazas for free.
All around the Peninsula just about any bar, cafe or home will be glued to the tube to see the World Cup unfold. If you happen to be in Sevilla we recommend the following establishments for their atmosphere and deals, though practically anywhere will have a TV on.
Merchant’s Malt House – This Irish pub boasts two floors, nearly a dozen TVs and tasty food. Calle Canalejas, 26.
Patio San Eloy – Grab a bucket of beer and a few sandwiches to share in this sevillano favorite. The montaditos are even named for cities throughout Spain, so your consumption will be supporting La Roja, too! Calle Mateos Gago, 4.
O’Neill’s – One of Spain’s largest sports bars, game days always bring out a fun international crowd. That said, come early! Two locations, Calle Adriano, 34 and Calle Enramadilla, s/n (across from the Apeadero de San Bernardo).
La Sureña – Wallet friendly, beer buckets, and tons of young Spaniards who will likely party afterwards, win or lose. Various locations throughout Sevilla
What to wear
Red! and the more the better. Local chino shops will also sell Spanish paraphernalia such as knock off jerseys, España t-shirts, flags and scarves.
Spain’s World Cup win in 2010 remains one of our favorite memories after years on La Peninsula. Drop everything and head to a bar (and have a Cruzcampo – the beer giant is one of La Roja’s sponsors!).
Who are you rooting for in Brazil? For more on the World Cup Qualifiers and Results, FIFA’s site is top.