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Alfredo Relaño | 07/02/2013
Spain's 3-1 win over Uruguay was like being handed a drink of water while in the middle of the desert. Although the game was not filled with excitement, there were some positive developments. Puyol made his centenary appearance for his country and became the seventh Spaniard to join the 100 club, while Del Bosque coached his 68th game with Spain and equalled Kubala as the man who has taken charge of the most games for the national side.
Azpilicueta, Isco and Mario Suarez all made their international debuts, and to add to all this we won in Qatar, a country we'll be hearing much more about in the future, if we are not already, and against the much loved and much respected Uruguay. It was, by all accounts, a stupendous evening
At last, something works. Let us be naive, as Del Bosque asked us to be in, and allow ourselves to just contemplate this wonderful team. Let us focus on Puyol, for example - a real character who has fought his way to the elite of world football and remained there thanks to pure effort.
After the World Cup Puyol offered to retire from the national side, perhaps worried he would become a liability for the coach. But it was Del Bosque himself who encouraged him to carry on, precisely in search of this milestone that he reached yesterday and which Sergio Ramos is just one game away from making too, which will make him the 8th player to join the 100 club, a group with an ever increasing membership.
The first players to join it were Zubizarreta and Raúl, and then the players from this generation that keeps winning and winning all piled in at once.
Before, when Spain would trip up in successive European championships and World Cups, coaches would renew their squads to try and make amends. But these players keep winning and holding down their place in the team, keep jumping over the invisible fence and heading towards 100 caps. At the same time, there is still room for new blood, like the three players who made their debuts yesterday.
People all over the world want to see our players in action and as we saw in Qatar, they treat them well. It is a joy to watch this fantastic team during such troubled times and it gives meaning to that old saying of Jean Paul Sartre: "Be realistic -demand the impossible."