SPAIN – A manager with a track record of success at the helm, a roster full of rising stars, and a captain who has won the World Cup all contribute to this team’s success.
It’s possible that Spain won’t come out on top in Qatar, but there’s a good chance they’ll be difficult to beat.
Fans of Spain will likely have reasonable expectations for their team to advance out of a group that also contains Japan and Costa Rica, but they will face a formidable adversary in the form of four-time champions Germany, with whom Luis Enrique’s squad will likely compete for first place.
Tournament regulars Since 1978, Spain has participated in each and every World Cup. Only Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Italy, and Mexico have better overall appearance records than the Spaniards, who will be participating in their 16th World Cup competition when it takes place in Qatar in 2022. The first World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930.
The Triumph of Spain at the World Cup
In 2010, Spain astonished the competition in South Africa with their possession-dominating Tiki-Taka football, finishing first in their qualifying group and then annihilating all of their opponents in the knockout round to achieve a historic first World Cup victory. Before this point, they had never advanced past the quarterfinals of a competition.
The Spaniards got off to a shaky start and were knocked out of the tournament by Switzerland in the opening round with a shocking 1-0 loss. However, victories against Honduras and Chile helped them regain their footing and set them up for a round of 16 matchup against Portugal, their neighboring country.
After that, the team was unbeatable, prevailing over Portugal, Paraguay, Germany, and ultimately the Netherlands in a tense final that was decided by an extra-time winner – a run of games that saw them compete in over 360 minutes of elimination football without allowing a single opponent to score against them.
This victory capped off a successful time for Spain, during which they also won two titles at the European Championship in 2008 and 2012.
Golden Boy Pedri
Even though this will be Pedro González López’s first time competing in the World Cup, Spain’s chances of winning the tournament in Qatar will likely hinge on the play of the 20-year-old Pedri, as he is more commonly known.
The diminutive central midfielder, who has already proven his talent on the international stage, has garnered major acclaim for his creative abilities and has been widely touted in recent years as one of the world football’s most promising wonderkids. This has been the case despite the fact that he has only been playing professionally for the past few years.
After a string of eye-catching performances for Spain at Euro 2020 and a breakthrough season at club side Barcelona, which saw him win a regular place in the starting XI of the Spanish behemoth, he was presented with the prestigious Golden Boy trophy at the end of the previous year. This trophy is presented to the standout player aged 21 or under in Europe.
Pedri’s coach at Barcelona, the legendary ex-Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi, has already compared the blooming potential to fellow Spanish great Andres Iniesta due to his positional intelligence and sparkling technical abilities.
Strong Competitors in the Race
It is believed that Spain will compete with Germany for the top slot in Group E, but it should easily clinch one of the two qualifying spots ahead of both Japan and Costa Rica.
A run to the final rounds of the competition is a distinct possibility if they are led by Enrique, who won many titles with Barcelona from 2014 to 2017, and beloved captain Sergio Busquets, who was a member of the team that won the World Cup in 2010.
Spain enters the 2018 World Cup on a positive note as a result of their seven wins and two ties in their most recent 10 matches.
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