Spain's fringe players key to success

Updated: January 4, 2012, 1:37 PM ET
By Graham Hunter | Special to ESPN.com

As 2012 dawns and you seek a fresh injection of La Liga on ESPN, I suspect that tick-borne encephalitis was not the first thing that came to mind.

Wind back to the last European championship in 2008, however, and it was a major point of concern for the Spanish national team at its base in Austrian Stubai, forest country at the foot of some splendid mountains and within sight of a year-round glacier. Ticks, we were told, were prevalent in the Stubai summer, and a nasty encounter ...

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