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Hiddink factor should give Spain pause for thought


Hiddink celebrates

Spain are trying to keep the lid on the euphoria after their breaking their quarter-final curse with a penalty shoot-out victory over world champions Italy.

Because of the vagaries of the draw for Euro 2008, “la furia roja” now face Russia in the semi-finals, the team they beat 4-1 in their opening match of the tournament.

On paper, Spain have everything running in their favour. Psychologically they have the upper hand given the result of the group game, team morale has been boosted because of the win over Italy, they have no injuries and the first choice players remain fresh after being rested in the final group game against Greece.

Spain triumphed in both their previous semi-final appearances in the competition, over Hungary in 1964 and Denmark in 1984.