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Tootle's 'slug' goal celebration

The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Fabregas hails ''incredible'' Spain after eighth win

Cesc Fabregas hailed Spain's strength in depth after helping the European champions clinch their spot in next year's World Cup finals.

Fabregas netted his side's opening goal in their 3-0 win over Estonia, Spain's eighth successive victory in Group Five.

The performance may not have been as impressive as Saturday's 5-0 mauling of Belgium, but it showed that Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has a substitutes bench to envy.

The impressive Fabregas was one of four new faces in the Spain starting line-up compared to the weekend, while two other players, Santi Cazorla and Juan Manuel Mata, came off the bench to net their side's other goals in the final 10 minutes.

Taking into consideration as well that the likes of first-team regulars Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Sergio Ramos played no part in the game, and it is easy to see why Spain are considered one of the favourites to lift the World Cup next summer.

''This team is incredible,'' said Fabregas. ''Not only those that are on the bench, but there are also the players who couldn't make the game and who didn't make the squad despite enjoying the confidence of the coach.

''There isn't space enough for everyone. What's clear is that there is a lot of quality in Spanish football right now. It's a luxury.''

Spain's win over Estonia made it 17 victories in 18 matches for Del Bosque since he replaced Euro 2008-winning coach Luis Aragones last summer, while it also continued the team's 100% record in Group Five.

With their place in South Africa now secured it could be that Del Bosque will give more of his fringe players a chance in the remaining two qualifiers, but whatever happens, Fabregas believes it is important to keep the momentum going.

''We are calmer now, but we want to create a record that I don't know if any Spain side has achieved - to win the 10 games in qualifying. This would be great because it would enable is to go to the World Cup with confidence,'' said the Arsenal captain in AS.


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