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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 24, 2008

Spanish FA chief vows to win 2018 bidding race

Spanish football federation president Angel Maria Villar has claimed his priority is to present an "invincible bid'' for the 2018 World Cup, moments after he was re-elected on Monday.

Villar, who was the sole candidate for the position, was re-elected for the fifth time since taking over from Jose Luis Roca in 1988.

The former Athletic Bilbao and Spain defender has called for the country to unite in a bid to land football's premier competition.

"One of our fundamental aims will be to bring a World Cup finals to Spain, which could be in 2018,'' Villar said. "Being united, having a united administration, a united Spanish society, our bid will be invincible.

"We were waiting for there to be a president and from this moment we will start working to present a bid which will be invincible and for that unity is important, that the administration unites with football.

"I have to say that the first thing I have to do is get in contact with the Secretary of State for Sport to talk about the future of Spanish football and this bid which they have always supported.''

Reports have previously suggested Spain - who hosted the competition in 1982 - would present a joint bid with Euro 2004 hosts Portugal, but Villar remained reluctant to comment on the idea.

He added: "When we present it then you will see.''

Villar received 144 votes in favour at the General Assembly, which was attended by Barcelona president Joan Laporta, Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque and a number of club coaches. Eighteen members abstained from the vote.

Despite being the sole candidate, the 58-year-old insists his win is as worthy as if someone had stood against him.

"I am very happy because Spanish football has re-elected me again with an absolute majority,'' said Villar. "I only hoped that Spanish football would re-elect me and they did that brilliantly.

"In 2004 I had opposition and I won, but when there is a sole candidate you also have to win previously and that's what I did. If there were no other candidates at today's election it's because the candidates retired because they didn't have a chance.

"That is the success of my campaign. My reign has been significant because there have been great results, the most important of which was the European Championships with great play and a great footballing level.''

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