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Wednesday, 12 June, 2002, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK

Spain in fiesta mood

From BBC Monitoring
in Caversham

The Spanish sports papers are in fiesta mood after the national team beat South Africa 3-2 on Wednesday to qualify for the second round with maximum points.

Most commentaries pick out the performance of Raul, who scored two goals, and note that for the first time the national team, coached by Jose Antonio Camacho, is producing performances of the quality of Spain's club sides.

" The World Cup is shaping up very positively for Camacho's boys "
AS newspaper

In a special mid-afternoon tabloid, AS runs a headline "Spain: Ra-Ra-Ra-Raul" over a full-page picture of the Real Madrid star blowing a trademark kiss after one of his goals.

"Raul is determined to win the World Cup," the match report says, "and with the irrational faith that marks every challenge he sets himself, he is prepared to take Spain to the final in Yokohama.

"He has played three matches and given three exhibitions," the paper continues.

"Dragged along by a snorting bull Raul, Spain did everything it normally doesn't manage: we won because we were better than South Africa, we took control and we scored at the key moments.

"If we add to this the fact that the favourites are falling like flies, the World Cup is shaping up very positively for Camacho's boys."

" We must think only of the green of Ireland - the next obstacle on the path to glory "
Marca website

The Marca website carries a headline "Three out of three for Spain".

It says: "Spain achieved its objective, defeated South Africa and got three wins out of three in the opening group.

"Raul pulled the team along," the paper continues, and "we had confirmation of the quality of a boy called Joaquin who is going to be a star."

But, in true footballing fashion, the paper warns Camacho to take the World Cup one game at a time.

"Now we must concentrate and only think about the green of Ireland, the next obstacle on the path to glory."


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