Spain is one of the best football nations in the world. Moreover the local championship La Liga is probably the best club championship in the world. Currently, the national team went through a horrible period that followed after the two straight European titles and the World Cup title from the tournament in South Africa in 2010. During this bad period, Spain was eliminated in the group stage of the previous World Cup and was knocked out by Italy in the Round of 16 stage’ in the last Euro tournament. Counting the previous qualifications and the last set of friendly games for Spain it looks like the Spanish national team had overcome the bad period. Historically this will be the 15th World Cup for Spain and the chances for a second title in their history are not small at all.
HEAD COACH AND LINEUP
From 2008 to 2016, Spain was led by the legendary head coach Vicente del Bosque. He created one of the best teams in the history of the world’s football. During his years Spain won 2 Euro titles and 1 World Cup title. Unfortunately, in 2016, everything collapsed and the country needed a new coach. Not too many people trusted Julen Lopetegui. Before he took the control over the national team, he had coached the youth teams of Spain and the club team of FC Porto. Many people believed that he just does not possess enough experience and qualities to coach one of the best players in the world. Surprisingly, Lopetegui has been successful as a coach of Spain and in 18 games he had not lost a single game. Moreover, Spain had scored 59 goals in those 18 games, including 6 against Argentina in the last friendly of the Europeans a few days ago.
Luckily for everyone that loves La Roja, the team is not only strong on offense, but also strong on defense. This cannot be present if there is no stable goalkeeper in the squad. Spain not only has a stable goalkeeper, but it has one of the top goalies in the world. David de Gea can save even impossible goal chances and this could be crucial for the battle for the title.
In every other line, Spain is full of amazing players but we want to name the key players in each part of the Spanish squad. On defense, Spain will mostly rely on their captain Sergio Ramos. He is the heart of this Spanish team and his passion for the game is spectacular. In the midfield line, Spain also has spectacular players but the player that will be vital for the performance of Spain at the tournament is called Isco. He might suffer from inconsistency but when he is in top form, he is among the best players in the world.
The situation in the offense is a bit different and Spain is slightly limited on this position, but this does not mean that there are no good strikers in this team. The key striker for Spain is Diego Costa. He is valuable not only because of his scoring abilities but also because of his up-tempo pressing. He is dangerous for every defense in the world and if he is able to stay away from conflicts on the field, he will be ‘’lethal’’ for the opponents.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
The strength of Spain is hidden in the fact that the team has plenty of firepower in the squad. Everyone in this team can decide a single game with a single movement. Even defenders like Sergio Ramos or Pique can score goals, which make Spain completely unpredictable. On the other side, the problem for Spain is that the team lacks variety on offense. If Isco, Diego Costa or Marco Asensio does not have a good game, Spain might have hard time scoring. The team is full of amazing players that can create chances, but not many of them can score. At the moment the best goal scorers in the team are Iniesta with 14 goals and Ramos with 13 goals. Both of them are not forwards and they have this amount of goals mainly because of the fact that they had played in more than 100 games for Spain. In order to win a title, you might need a good and reliable scorer and if Diego Costa does not fulfill the expectations, then Spain might not win a second World Cup title.
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Spain has a clear path to the later stages of the World Cup. The team starts the tournament on June 15th in a game against Portugal. The neighbors are the biggest opponent of Spain in the group stage of the tournament and this first game will most likely decide the winner of Group B of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. After this game, Spain has two fairly easy tests against Iran (June 20th) and Morocco (June 25th). We do not have a doubt that Spain will continue to the next stage. Moreover, we even believe that Spain will not have problems even in the Round of 16 games, where the opponent will be someone among Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Uruguay. What will happened for Spain after the quarter-finals, we will see in July 2018.