Spain

Spain

Appearances at World Cups

Spain participated in WC final stages 14 times. The first time was at their first WC, which was on European pitches in 1934. The Spanish team has approached the final several times since them but managed to win a gold only 76 years later. This success was during the so-called tiki-taka generation when players of Spanish Barcelona, which dominated at this moment, were the skeleton of the squad. In 2010, Spain started the tournament with a defeat from Switzerland but then gained a speed and achieved success at the remaining six meetings. It's curious that Spain lost the first two matches in the group at the next WC and gave up.

The national team of Italy was the major rival of Spain in the fight for a direct ticket to Russia at the group stage of the qualification. But there wasn't a fight as it is. Spain, undoubtedly, coped with its rivals and was among the first teams to reach the final part of the WC. It has several wallops, two of which were 8-0 against Lichtenstein, and just 3 missed goals during the whole stage. With such results, the Spaniards, of course, deserved not only a ticket to Russia but also the status of favourites of the tournament.

year

G

W

D

L

М

total

1934

3

1

1

1

4-3

5

1950

6

3

1

2

10-12

4

1962

3

1

0

2

2-3

4 th place in group

1966

3

1

0

2

4-5

3 rd in group

1978

3

1

1

1

2-2

3 rd in group

1982

5

1

2

2

4-5

2 nd, 3rd place in group

1986

5

3

1

1

11-4

1/4

1990

4

2

1

1

6-4

1/8

1994

5

2

2

1

10-6

1/4

1998

3

1

1

1

8-4

3 rd place in group

2002

5

3

2

0

10-5

1/4

2006

4

3

0

1

9-4

1/8

2010

7

6

0

1

8-2

1

2014

3

1

0

2

4-7

3 rd place in group

Total

61

41

9

11

221-102

-

Head coach and best player

Young specialist, former goalkeeper Julen Lopetegui trains the national team of Spain. The latest big successes of the second Spanish team at 2011 and 2013 Euros are linked with his name. In addition, he achieved serious successes with Real's second team thanks to whom he was noticed by functionaries of the football federation of his country. Lopetegui was invited to the main team mainly got change generations it so needed after the failures at 2014 WC and Euro in 2016.

It rarely happens when the world cup favourite was led by one player. The national team of Spain has a collective where each of the football players is able to take the initiative. What's more, every line has its own leader. De Gea occupies his undoubted seat in goal, the defence is represented by central defenders Piqué-Ramos, while Iniesta looks to be blossoming like before in the midfield. But Spain's biggest hopes are pinned on the attack where David Silva and Isco will be responsible for creativity. The latter has already proved himself in the friendly against Argentina (6-1). So the country should not worry if his state is fine.

  • Preliminary squad: De Gea – Carvajal, Ramos, Piqué, Abla – Busquets, Iniesta, Thiago – D. Silva, Isco, Asensio.

Base camp and cities

If we look at the group Spain in, it may seem it's a table of tangerine exporters to Russia. Portugal, Morocco and Iran also play football quite well, so the group stage will unlikely become easy for the national team of Spain. Lopetegui's players who probably got the best base camp to prepare for WC matches in Krasnodar (Krasnodar's academy) will play the first game in the tournament in Sochi. The rivalry with Portugal will likely become decisive for the team. However, the meetings against Iran and Morocco in Kazan and Kaliningrad will be no less important.

Photo: fifa.com
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