The World Cup is ominously close! So that you aren't caught offside (they have that in soccer, right?), we're previewing all the participants, bringing you Four Things You Don't Know About Them. If you have a tidbit, send it along to tips@Deadspin.com. Today: Spain! And for World Cup previews that are even better than ours, check out That's On Point, who helped us with these as well.
• 1. Another Senseless Fragrance-Related Injury. There are injuries, and then there are injuries. Then there's what happened to keeper Santiago Canizares ahead of the 2002 World Cup. Apparently he stepped on a shard from a broken cologne bottle and severed a tendon in his big toe. Here's what he said: "I do not consider myself to be unlucky by any manner of means." The injury paved the way for current No. 1 Iker Castillas, one of the world's best. — (thanks to Mike Cardillo)
• 2. Not Cool, Spain. From making monkey noises during a friendly against England to abusing Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o (who only happens to be one to the five best players in La Liga), racist taunts by Spanish fans give the country a bad reputation. Even national boss Luis Aragones isn't immune, infamously being caught on camera calling Thierry Henry, "a black shit," in what he called an attempt to motivate Jose Antonio Reyes. Last year, Reyes was "punked" by a Spanish radio station. A DJ claimed be be a director with Real Madrid and got Reyes, who is with London's Arsenal, to say how much he'd love to move to the Galacticos. — (thanks to Mike Cardillo).
• 3. Zorro Is Pissed. Real Madrid, the center of the universe as far as Spanish soccer fans are concerned, has not been playing well lately. In a stunning vote of no-confidence, even one of the club's biggest supporters, actor Antonio Banderas, is piling on. Banderas accused them of being the "Titanic" this week in an ESPN Soccernet article, "sailing over the waves in the guise of a luxury liner, but fatally holed beneath the water-line." Banderas also criticized Real Madrid for signing David Beckham.
• 4. BigTrouble In Espania. The big controversy currently revolves around Spain's coach Luis Aragones, for choosing Chelsea left-back Asier Del Horno ahead of Mariano Pernia for the WC squad. "All Del Horno has done this year is kick Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the Champions League," Getafe coach Bernd Schuster told a news conference on Friday. "It's a shame but there is still time for him to make it." The squad must be down to 23 players by May 15.