Top players back Spain

Special Correspondent
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M.S. Dhoni with his wife Sakshi on their arrival in Chennai on Thursday. — PHOTO: K. Pichumani
M.S. Dhoni with his wife Sakshi on their arrival in Chennai on Thursday. — PHOTO: K. Pichumani

Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have backed Spain to win the FIFA World Cup.

Tendulkar, Dravid and a majority of the Sri Lanka-bound Indian cricketers assembled here on Thursday night. The side, sans skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, paceman Abhimanyu Mithun and wicket-keeper batsman Wridhhiman Saha, will leave for Sri Lanka on Friday morning.

The newly married Dhoni, who arrived here with wife Sakshi, will fly to Colombo on Saturday after attending a function here on Friday evening — the Indian captain will be made an honorary member of the Madras Cricket Club.

Mithun and Saha, with the India ‘A' team in England, will journey to the Sri Lankan capital from London.

India will play a three-Test series in Sri Lanka followed by a triangular ODI series with New Zealand as the third side.

The players shared their thoughts about the title match of the football World Cup.

Tendulkar told The Hindu, “I think Spain has been playing fine football. The side's passing has been slick and it is playing in a very organised manner. I feel it has an edge over Holland in the final.”

Dravid said, “Spain is a very well-balanced team. There are no obvious weaknesses in the side. The players are very good on the ball. Holland is a worthy opponent and it could be a tough game but I think Spain will emerge triumphant.”

Yuvraj Singh said, “It's going to be Spain, no question about that.”

Dhoni, who began his sporting career as a football goalkeeper, said, “Whichever team I back loses. So I will not say anything now. We all know who is playing the better football.”

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