South Africa's basketball community

Spain are double World Champions!

By on August 1, 2010 in News

Fresh in almost everyone’s memory is 11 July 2010, when Spain’s national soccer (football) team won the FIFA 2010 World Cup, played in South Africa.

Spain - World Champions 2010 (soccer)

Spain - World Champions 2010 (soccer)

Perhaps not as easily or quickly remembered is 3 September 2006 when Spain’s national basketball team won the 2006 FIBA Basketball World Championships in Japan.

Spain World Champions 2006 (basketball)

Spain - World Champions 2006 (basketball)

Both tournaments are held every four years, and those periods strangely coincide with the FIFA World Cup and the FIBA World Championships again being held this year – 2010.

For the first time in history, Spain are soccer’s new World Champions, and until 12 September 2010 when the new basketball World Champions are crowned, Spain is the current basketball World Champion.

This means Spain currently holds the honourable distinction of being double World Champs! Quite an incredible feat!

A quick look at the different paths the two teams took.

2006 FIBA World Championships

Like this year’s first ever soccer World Cup Championship, Spain’s gold medal in 2006 at the FIBA World Championships of basketball was the country’s first ever victory in the basketball tournament. That team defeated Greece in a one-sided final, 70-47, and looked strong all the way through the tournament.

All four teams that qualified for the semi-finals were undefeated after the initial rounds. Spain narrowly defeated Argentina in their semi-final, 75-74. With Greece beating the tournament favourites USA in the other semi-final, they were expected to put up a much better fight against Spain in the final but in the end couldn’t overcome the Spanish determination.

Despite not playing in the final, Spaniard Pau Gasol was named tournament MVP (Most Valuable Player). He was joined on the All-tournament team by teammate Jorge Garbajosa.

2010 FIFA World Cup Champion

Spain maintained a surprisingly low goal count and goal differential during the tournament, losing only their opening match in the first round (to Switzerland, 1:0) and winning all of their other matches (albeit most of them with a score of 1:0). The Spanish team won six of their seven matches during the tournament yet scored only seven goals throughout, one of the lowest totals for a winning team ever.

Although Spanish goalkeeper Iker Cassilas was the only individual award-winner (Golden Glove) from the team, Spain had six of their players voted onto the tournament All-Star team – reflecting the unquestionable skill of the team overall.

You can read more about Spain’s historic victories here:

Be sure to follow the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey, to see if Spain can defend their title against some very hungry and strong opponents. (You can find the official FIBA 2010 World Championships website here)

You can also find a comprehensive history of the FIBA World Championships tournament on Wikipedia.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

There is 1 Brilliant Comment

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed