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1982 World Cup, Spain

The World Cup made its first visit to Spain in 1982. A country renowned for the strength of its league, with giant clubs such as Barcelona and Real Madrid, Spain had never punched its weight in the International game, but they were widely expected to emulate Argentina and West Germany before them to win as hosts.

Spain's performance in the opening round was woeful. Although they beat a classy Yugoslavia team 2-1, they were unable to beat Honduras, and then actually lost to tiny Northern Ireland, Gerry Armstrong scoring a memorable winner.

Spain went out in the second round, and the semi-finals were between France & West Germany and Italy & Poland, the surprise package of the tournament. Not being among even the best 4 European teams was a bitter disappointment to the fanatical Spanish.



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