“We failed more than a fairground shotgun”

Miguel-Kubala-Di Stéfano-Luis Suárez and Gento. Possibly one of the best strikers the Spanish team has shown the world throughout its history. Qualification for the 58 World Cup was at stake, the same one that enthroned Pelé at the age of 17. Spain had been framed in group nine along with Switzerland and Scotland. March 10, 1957. The stage, the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. The red T-shirt was a wide button-down camisole with a collar.

The debut was against the Helvetians. Spain had been left out of the previous World Cup by draw. The well-known story of the Italian boy who gets the ballot from Turkey. The illusion of being in the next World Cup event in Sweden was notorious. In the selection a dazzling generation of players coincided. The draw against Switzerland (2-2) accompanied by a defeat in Hampden Park against Scotland (4-2), two months later, cut off the dream.

Since his retirement from Milan, Luis Suárez remembers the match against Switzerland as if it were yesterday. “They are games that are not easily forgotten. It came out crooked from the start. We had a great team. Just remembering the lead it seems impossible that we would not win. We miss more goals than a fairground shotgun. I scored both that afternoon, but I was able to score four or five. I played as a center forward because I was the youngest and Kubala and Di Stéfano liked to come from further back. The worst thing was that we let them score in the two times they left their field. Then Switzerland was the teacher of what was later the catenaccio Italian”.

Three more official appointments have kept both teams in the World Cup finals. None, in the Euro Cups. In the World Cup 66, Spain, which had just won Euro 64, began with a defeat against Argentina (2-1). The second game against the Helvetians was decisive and he took it forward at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield with a quentin goal. The tie was the work of Manolo Sanchis, father, who played right back that day. A gallop from the center of the field that went down in history as one of the best exponents of the then celebrated Spanish fury. Amancio scored the second and the team played it all in the third game against West Germany, a new defeat (2-1).

It took 28 years for faces to be seen again. It was in the second round of the World Cup 94 and the Spanish victory was wide and convincing (3-0). Today’s coach, Luis Enrique, scored the second goal. The first was the work of Fernando Hierro and the third by Begiristain. The most recent confrontation, the first game of the 2010 World Cup, sowed panic within a team that arrived in South Africa with its European champion vitola (2008). Gelson Fernandes’s goal turned the rest of the games into finals until the very end of Iniesta’s goal.

Switzerland is now experiencing a second football youth. Since 2004, only one major competition has been lost, Euro 2012. He has been present in all the others. In the beginning, he only missed the appointment of 58. He played the World Cups in 1934, 38, 50, 62, and 66. In the Euro Cups it was not released until 1996. For the purposes of the national team, football arrived in the Central European country before to Spain. The first match of his team was in 1905, defeat (1-0) against Paris, while the Spanish was in 1920, at the Antwerp Olympic Games. The first time they faced each other was in 1925. Spain won in Bern with three goals from Juan Errazquin. For Switzerland it was the 65th game of their record, for the Hispanic team, 17th. The overall balance is favorable to Spain: 22 games, 16 wins, five draws and one defeat.

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