For the record, Spain defeated Equatorial Guinea, 2-1.
If you think the reigning world champion and reigning European champion, one so embarrassingly blessed with talent and know-how, should be clobbering the world’s 119th-ranked team by a sum greater than one measly goal, well, get in line.
And yet, that’s not the strange part. It’s not what everyone wants to know about Saturday’s friendly in Equatorial Guinea’s capital, Malabo. The presiding sentiment all along, before and after kickoff was always … “Huh?”
The whole thing, in a word, is just weird.
What Spain could possibly get out of this one, in terms of prep and polish for its coming World Cup defense, only the leaders of soccer in land of tapas and serious paella can say. In fact, the president of Spain’s federation wouldn’t say. Senor, why are you there again?
“I won’t answer this question,” Spanish federation president Angel Maria Villar said last week, according to the Associated Press. “’Ask anything else, but I won’t respond to this one.” Well … nothing suspicious there, eh? So let’s just move on.
Equatorial Guinea is a former Spanish colony. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo is a controversial and polarizing figure to say the least. He has been accused of everything from ill use of his nation’s oil revenues – enriching himself while his people starve, essentially – to sanctioning kidnappings and torture.
Perhaps we should cut the guy some slack. He’s still getting things sorted out after that military coup. In 1979.
Well … Santi Cazorla and Juanfran Torres scored for coach Vicente del Bosque (pictured above from a training on Friday) and his Spanish team. Midfielder Xabi Alonso was injured and had to come off.