The Colombian national soccer team faces one of its biggest tests of the year, playing a friendly against current world champions Spain on Wednesday.
Colombia’s best soccer players traveled to Spain’s capital city this week, for their first international game since drawing 1-1 with Peru in another friendly last November.
Manager Hernan Dario Gomez is set to use the match with Spain to test his players and tactics for next July’s Copa America, while their Spanish opponents continue their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign next month.
Another incentive for Spain to do well on Wednesday is the disappointing performance the world champions delivered in recent friendlies, in which they were painfully beaten by first Argentina and then Portugal. In order to boost their confidence, manager Vicente del Bosque’s men will need a good result against Colombia.
Colombia meanwhile, will have nothing to lose against Spain as even a draw would be considered an impressive result.
This shows in the respect shown by Atletico Madrid player Luis Amaranto Perea, who said that playing against Spain is a “privilege” as it is “the best team in the world”.
But Perea added that he and his teammates would do their very best to trouble Spain’s defense: “We will defend Colombia’s colors till death and that should be more important than anything.”
Perea is one of the top players selected by manager Gomez, along with David Ospina, Mario Yepes, Giovanni Moreno and Radamel Falcao. Much is expected from Moreno, who has recently impressed in the Argentinean league.
Spain meanwhile, are expected to field most of their stars with Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, David Villa and new Chelsea signing Fernando Torres all selected for this encounter.
For the last meeting between these two teams one would have to go back no less than 30 years, when Colombia held Spain to a 1-1 draw at Bogota‘s El Campin stadium.
Wednesday’s game is scheduled to kick off at 9:30pm local time, 3:30pm in Colombia and the eastern United States. The venue for this encounter is Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu stadium.