Spain national football team
|Association||Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF)|
|Head coach||Vicente del Bosque|
|Asst coach||José Antonio Grande|
|Most caps||Iker Casillas (161)|
|Top scorer||David Villa (59)|
|FIFA ranking||10 (7 May 2015)|
|Highest FIFA ranking||1 (July 2008 – June 2009, October 2009 – March 2010, July 2010 – July 2011, October 2011- July 2014)|
|Lowest FIFA ranking||25 (March 1998)|
|Elo ranking||6 (31 March 2015)|
|Highest Elo ranking||1 (Sept 1920 – May 1924, Sept – Dec 1925, June 2002, June 2008 – June 2009, July 2010 - June 2013, September 2013)|
|Lowest Elo ranking||20 (June 1969, June 1981, November 1991)|
| Spain 1–0 Denmark
(Brussels, Belgium; 28 August 1920)
| Spain 13–0 Bulgaria
(Madrid, Spain; 21 May 1933)
| Spain 1–7 Italy
(Amsterdam, Netherlands; 4 June 1928)
England 7–1 Spain
(London, England; 9 December 1931)
|Appearances||14 (First in 1934)|
|Best result||Champions, 2010|
|Appearances||9 (First in 1964)|
|Best result||Champions, 1964, 2008 and 2012|
|Appearances||10 (First in 1920)|
|Best result||Champions, 1992|
|Appearances||2 (First in 2009)|
|Best result||Runners-up, 2013|
The Spain national football team (Spanish: Selección de fútbol de España)[a] represents Spain in International association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Vicente del Bosque. The Spanish side is commonly referred to as La Roja ("The Red [One]"), La Furia Roja ("The Red Fury"), La Furia Española ("The Spanish Fury") or simply La Furia ("The Fury"). Spain became a member of FIFA in 1904 even though the Spanish Football Federation was first established in 1909. Spain's national team debuted in 1920. Since then the Spanish national team have participated in a total of fourteen of twenty FIFA World Cup and nine of fourteen UEFA European Championship.
Spain are one of eight national teams to have been crowned FIFA World Cup champions, having won the 2010 tournament in South Africa, defeating the Netherlands 1-0 to become the first European team to win the title outside of Europe. They are currently the reigning European champions, having won back to back titles in Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, defeating Germany and Italy in the respective finals. These three successive titles make them the only national team so far with three consecutive wins of either the applicable continental championship or the World Cup. From 2008 to 2013 (6 years) the national team won FIFA Team Of The Year, the second-most of any nation, behind only Brazil. Between November 2006 and June 2009 Spain went undefeated for a record-equalling 35 consecutive matches before their shocking loss to the United States, a record shared with Brazil. The team's achievements have led many commentators, experts and former players to consider the 2010 and 2012 Spanish sides among the best ever international sides in world football.
- 1 History
- 2 Team image
- 3 Coaching staff
- 4 Players
- 5 Results and fixtures
- 6 Records
- 7 Competitive record
- 8 Honours
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The first Spain national football team was constituted in 1920, with the main objective of finding a team that would represent Spain at the Summer Olympics held in Belgium in that same year. Spain made their debut at the tournament on August 28, 1920 against the national team of Denmark (runners-up in the last 2 previous Olympic tournament). The Spanish managed to win that match by a scoreline of 1–0. Spain went on to win the silver medal at the Olympics and their first international silverware at any tournament.
The Spanish Civil War and World War II prevented Spain from playing any competitive matches between the 1934 World Cup and the 1950 World Cup qualifiers. During the Civil War, only the zone controlled by the Nationalist side was allowed to host friendlies and to have a national team. At the 1950 finals in Brazil, they topped their group to progress to the final round. Spain finished in fourth place. Until 2010, this had been Spain's highest finish in a FIFA World Cup finals, which had given them the name of the "underachievers."
Spain won its first major international title after winning the 1964 European Championship held in Spain. Spain advanced to the final against the Soviet Union. Spain won the final by the score of 2–1. The victory would stand as Spain's lone major title for 44 years.
Spain was selected as host of the 1982 FIFA World Cup. Expectations were high for Spain as the host nation under coach José Santamaría. Spain progressed to the second round, but Spain were knocked out, and Santamaría was sacked. Spain qualified for the 1986 World Cup. Spain progressed to the next round. Round 2 paired Spain with Denmark, who they overcame 5–1, but in the quarterfinals a 1–1 draw with Belgium ended with Belgium winning 5–4 on penalties.
Javier Clemente was appointed as Spain's coach in 1992, and the qualification for the 1994 World Cup was achieved. Spain drew with Korea Republic 2–2 and 1–1 with Germany, before qualifying for the second round with a 3–1 victory over Bolivia as group runner-up. During the Round of 16 Spain boasted a 3–0 victory over Switzerland, but their campaign ended with a 2–1 defeat to Italy in the quarter-finals - a match deemed controversial where during the finals minutes of stoppage time in the 2nd half, Italian defender Mauro Tassotti struck Luis Enrique with his elbow inside Spain's penalty area, causing Enrique to bleed profusely from his nose and mouth, but he foul was not noticed nor sanctioned by referee Sándor Puhl. Had the official acknowledged the foul Spain would've merited a penalty kick to salvage their chances at playing extra time en route to the semi-finals. Tassotti was eventually suspended for 8 matches by FIFA after the match, never playing for Italy again.
Spain qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup held in France after dominating their group with 8 wins, 2 draws and no losses. However, Spain failed to qualify for the Round of 16 in the World Cup after only accumulating 4 points in their group after an upset loss to the Nigerians and a 0-0 draw against the Paraguayans. Their only compensation in the tournament was a 6-1 trouncing over Bulgaria, who were also exiting the World Cup in the group stage.
In the 2002 World Cup Spain won its three group play matches. Spain beat Republic of Ireland on penalties in the second round, and faced co-hosts Korea Republic in the quarterfinals. In a controversial match, Spain eventually lost in a penalty shootout after having two goals called back for alleged infractions during regular and extra time.
Similarly, Spain dominated their group at the 2006 World Cup held in Germany, earning the maximum amount of points available (9) and conceding only one goal in their match against Tunisia. Spain quickly bowed out of the tournament after being eliminated by a Zinedine Zidane-led France in a 3-1 result, their only goal coming from a penalty taken by David Villa.
In the Euro 2008, Spain won all their games in Group D. Italy were the opponents in the quarter final match and in a penalty shoot-out, which Spain won 4–2. Spain met Russia again in the semi-final, beating them 3–0. In the final, Spain defeated Germany 1–0, Fernando Torres scoring the only goal of the game. This was Spain's first major title since the 1964 European Championship. Xavi was awarded the player of the tournament.
In the 2010 World Cup, Spain advanced to the knock-out stage to defeat Portugal 1–0, reaching the quarter-finals, in which they defeated underdogs Paraguay 1–0, reaching the last four for the first time since 1950. They then advanced to the final for the first time ever by defeating Germany 1–0.
In the World Cup final against the Netherlands, Andrés Iniesta scored, winning the World Cup for Spain for the first time in their history. Spain are only the third team to win a World Cup outside their own continent, and the first European team to win the World Cup outside of Europe. Goalkeeper Iker Casillas won the golden glove for only conceding two goals during the tournament. David Villa won the bronze ball and silver boot, tied for top scorer of the tournament.
Spain qualified top of Group I in qualification for UEFA Euro 2012 with a perfect 100% record. Spain defeated Czech Republic, Scotland, Lithuania, and Liechtenstein to advance to the main tournament, where they became the first team to retain the European championship.
In the Euro 2012 final, Spain won the tournament by a score of 4–0 over Italy. Spain quickly took control in the first half, with goals in the 14th minute from a header by David Silva, and in the 41st minute from Jordi Alba. Spain increased their lead to 4–0 in the second half, with goals from Fernando Torres in the 84th minute, and from Juan Mata in the 88th minute, helping them to win their second straight European Championship, and their third straight major tournament title (Euro 2008 and 2010 World Cup).
In the 2014 World Cup, reigning champions Spain lost its first two matches in Group B against the Netherlands 1–5 and Chile 0–2, before beating Australia 3–0. Spain finished third in its group, and was knocked out of the tournament. In doing so, Spain became the fourth nation to be eliminated in the first round while holding the World Cup crown, the first one being Brazil in 1966 and the second France in 2002 and the third Italy in 2010.
Spain's traditional kit is a red jersey with yellow trim, accompanied by dark blue shorts and socks while their current away kit is all black with neon yellow stripes. The colour of the socks altered throughout the 1990s from black to the same colour as the blue shorts. Spain's kits have been produced by manufacturers including Adidas (from 1982 until 1984), Le Coq Sportif (from 1984 until 1992) and Adidas once again (since 1992).
Their current home kit is now all red. The current third kit is all white with red and yellow trim. Rather than displaying the logo of the Spanish football federation, Spain's jersey traditionally features the coat of arms of Spain over the left breast. After winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the World Cup winners badge was added to the right breast of the jersey and a golden star at the top of the Spanish coat of arms.
Style of play
Tiki-taka is above all, a systems approach to football founded upon team unity and a comprehensive understanding in the geometry of space on a football field.
Tiki-taka has been variously described as "a style of play based on making your way to the back of the net through short passing and movement," a "short passing style in which the ball is worked carefully through various channels," and a "nonsensical phrase that has come to mean short passing, patience and possession above all else." The style involves roaming movement and positional interchange amongst midfielders, moving the ball in intricate patterns, and sharp, one or two-touch passing. Tiki-taka is "both defensive and offensive in equal measure" – the team is always in possession, so doesn't need to switch between defending and attacking. Commentators have contrasted tiki-taka with "route one physicality" and with the higher-tempo passing of Arsène Wenger's 2007–08 Arsenal side, which employed Cesc Fàbregas as the only channel between defence and attack. Tiki-taka is associated with flair, creativity, and touch, but can also be taken to a "slow, directionless extreme" that sacrifices effectiveness for aesthetics.
Sid Lowe identifies Luis Aragonés' tempering of tiki-taka with pragmatism as a key factor in Spain's success in Euro 2008. Aragonés used tiki-taka to "protect a defense that appeared suspect [...], maintain possession and dominate games" without taking the style to "evangelical extremes." None of Spain's first six goals in the tournament came from tiki-taka: five came from direct breaks and one from a set play. For Lowe, Spain's success in the 2010 World Cup was evidence of the meeting of two traditions in Spanish football: the "powerful, aggressive, direct" style that earned the silver medal-winning 1920 Antwerp Olympics team the nickname La Furia Roja ("The Red Fury"), and the tiki-taka style of the contemporary Spanish team, which focused on a collective, short-passing, technical and possession-based game.
Analyzing Spain's semi-final victory over Germany at the 2010 World Cup, Honigstein described the Spanish team's tiki-taka style as "the most difficult version of football possible: an uncompromising passing game, coupled with intense, high pressing." For Honigstein, tiki-taka is "a significant upgrade" of Total Football because it relies on ball movement rather than players switching position. Tiki-taka allowed Spain to "control both the ball and the opponent."
Spain does not have a national stadium as such, though major qualifying matches are usually played at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid. Other large grounds used include the Estadio Vicente Calderón, also in Madrid, and the Mestalla in Valencia. Spain are unbeaten in competitive matches played at the Calderón. Some international friendlies are played in these larger stadia, as well as the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Seville.
Other friendly matches, as well as qualifying fixtures against smaller opponents, are played in provincial stadia. The 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign included matches at El Molinón in Gijón, the Iberostar Stadium in Palma de Mallorca, and the Estadio Carlos Belmonte in Albacete
Media coverage in Spain
|Head coach||Vicente del Bosque|
|Assistant coach||José Antonio Grande|
|Goalkeeping coach||José Manuel Ochotorena|
|Trainer||Francisco Javier Miñano Espín|
The following players were called up for a friendly match against Costa Rica and the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Belarus.
Caps and goals updated as of 31 March 2015 after the match against Netherlands.
The following players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months.
Results and fixtures
- For all past match results of the national team, see single-season articles and the team's results page
The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the current or upcoming seasons.
|UEFA Euro 2016 Q 27 March 2015||Spain||1 – 0||Ukraine||Seville, Spain|
|20:45 (UTC+1)||Morata 28'||Report||Stadium: Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán
Referee: Cüneyt Çakır (Turkey)
|Friendly 31 March 2015||Netherlands||2 – 0||Spain||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|20:45 (UTC+1)||De Vrij 13'
|Report||Stadium: Amsterdam Arena
Referee: Willie Collum (Scotland)
|UEFA Euro 2016 Q 14 June 2015||Belarus||v||Spain||Barysaw, Belarus|
|21:45 (UTC+3)||Report||Stadium: Borisov Arena
|UEFA Euro 2016 Q 12 October 2015||Ukraine||v||Spain||Kiev, Ukraine|
|21:45 (UTC+3)||Report||Stadium: Olympic Stadium
Iker Casillas holds the record for most appearances for the Spanish team with 160 since 2000. He is one of eight Spanish player to have reached 100 caps. Xavi is second, having played 133 times since 2000. Andoni Zubizarreta played for Spain 126 times between 1985–1998 and is the third most capped player.
David Villa holds the title of Spain's highest goalscorer, scoring 59 goals since 2005-2014, during which time he played for Spain on 97 occasions. Raúl González is the second highest goalscorer, scoring 44 goals in 102 appearances between 1996–2006. Fernando Torres is the third highest goalscorer with 38 goals in 110 appearances since 2003.
Between November 2006 and June 2009 Spain went undefeated for a record-equaling 35 consecutive matches before their loss to the United States in the Confederations Cup, a record shared with Brazil, and included a record 15-game winning streak. In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Spain became the first European national team to lift the World Cup trophy outside of Europe; along with Brazil, Germany and Argentina, Spain is one of the four national teams to have won the FIFA World Cup outside of its home continent.
- For the all-time record of the national team against opposing nations, see the team's all-time record page.
FIFA World Cup
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup Qualification record|
|1930||Did Not Enter||Declined Participation|
|1938||Withdrew||Qualified but withdrew due to civil war|
|1954||Did Not Qualify||3||1||1||1||6||3|
|1970||Did Not Qualify||6||2||2||2||10||6|
|1982||Round 2||12th||5||1||2||2||4||5||Qualified as host|
|1990||Round of 16||10th||4||2||1||1||6||4||8||6||1||1||20||3|
|2006||Round of 16||9th||4||3||0||1||9||4||12||6||6||0||25||5|
|Spain's World Cup record|
(27 May 1934; Genoa, Italy)
(24 June 1998; Lens, France)
(13 July 1950; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
FIFA Confederations Cup
|FIFA Confederation's Cup record|
|1992||No European team participated|
|1995||Did Not Qualify|
|Spain's Confederations Cup record|
(Rustenburg, South Africa; 14 June 2009)
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 20 June 2013)
(Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 30 June 2013)
UEFA European Championship
|European Championship record||European Championship Qualification record|
|1960||Withdrew||Declined to play the Soviet Union|
|1968||Did Not Qualify||8||3||2||3||7||5|
|1992||Did Not Qualify||7||3||0||4||17||12|
|2016||Qualification in progress||2||1||0||1||6||3|
|Spain's European Championship record|
(Madrid, Spain; 17 June 1964)
(Gdańsk, Poland; 14 June 2012)
Spain 4–0 Italy
(Kiev, Ukraine; 1 July 2012)
(Paris, France; 27 June 1984)
Germany 2–0 Spain
(Munich, Germany; 17 June 1988)
|Summer Olympics record|
|1948||Did Not Qualify|
|1972||Did Not Qualify|
|1984||Did Not Qualify|
|2004||Did Not Qualify|
|Total||1 Gold Medal||11/21||37||19||7||10||56||39|
- *Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
- **Since 1968, Spain has sent its under 23 national team.
|Mediterranean Games record|
|1951||Did Not Qualify|
|1959||Did Not Qualify|
|1971||Did Not Enter|
|2001||Did Not Qualify|
|2013||Did Not Enter|
- This is a list of honours for the senior Spanish national team
- Winners (1): 2010
- Winners (1): 2011
- Unofficial Awards
- Winners (3): 2008, 2010, 2012
- Winners (1): 2010
- Winners (1): 2012
- Holders (5): 11 June 1961 – 31 May 1962, 12 January 1972 – 2 May 1973, 18 June 1986 – 22 June 1986, 28 March 2001 – 27 March 2002, 11 July 2010 – 7 September 2010
- Spain women's national football team
- Spain national under-23 football team
- Spain national under-21 football team
- Spain national under-20 football team
- Spain national under-19 football team
- Spain national under-18 football team
- Spain national under-17 football team
- Spain national under-16 football team
- Spain national under-15 football team
- Spain national youth football team
- International Double
- Manolo el del bombo
- ""La Roja" from Miguel, Spain". 17 June 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- "La Roja lean to the left". FIFA. 16 June 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- Since 1992, squads for Football at the Summer Olympics have been restricted to three players over the age of 23, which Javier will play in 2016. The achievements of such teams are not usually included in the statistics of the international team.
- "La red social de aficionados de la Selección Española". Juegalaroja.com. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "Otro junio de ilusión: todos con la Roja" (in Spanish). Notas de fútbol. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
- "Spain win again to extend unbeaten streak". CNN. June 20, 2009.
- Pitt-Brooke, Jack (3 July 2012). "The greatest team of all time: Brazil 1970 v Spain 2012". The Independent (London: The Independent). Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "Euro 2012: Are Spain the best team of all time?". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Klinsmann, Jurgen. "Klinsmann: Spain win over Italy would make them team of century". BBC. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- Carlisle, Jeff. "Why this Spain side is all-time best". ESPN. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
- "Spain vs. Italy: Euro 2012 Final Not Enough to Crown Spain Best Ever". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
|last1=in Authors list (help)
- Hayward, Paul (23 June 2002). "Korean miracle spoilt by refereeing farce". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
- "Euro 2008 Final Preview: Germany vs Spain". 29 June 2008. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- McNulty, Phil (29 June 2008). "Germany 0–1 Spain". BBC Sport (London). Retrieved 20 August 2009.
- Spanish players named in the team of the tournament were: goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas, defenders Carles Puyol, Carlos Marchena, midfielders Xavi, Cesc Fàbregas, Andrés Iniesta, Marcos Senna and strikers David Villa and Fernando Torres.
- Krishnan, Joe (18 June 2014). "World Cup 2014: Spain and the World Cup holders who crashed out at the group stage". The Independent. Retrieved 18 April 2015.
- Ladyman, Ian (8 July 2010). "Beat Spain? It's hard enough to get the ball back, say defeated Germany". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- Davies, Jed C. (16 July 2012). "Systems Football: The Basics – Tiki-Taka / Totaal-Voetball". EPLindex (London). Retrieved 31 July 2012.
- Marcotti, Gabriele (14 April 2008). "New coaching breed gives heart to Spain". The Times (London). Retrieved 18 October 2010.
- Hynter, David (10 June 2008). "Fábregas takes positive view, from the bench". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- Lowe, Sid (2 July 2008). "The definitive story of how Aragonés led Spain to Euro 2008 glory". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- Pearce, Jonathan (29 June 2008). "If Spain can reign it will be so good for the old game". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- Honigstein, Raphael (8 July 2010). "Why Spain were anything but boring". CBC.ca. Retrieved 13 July 2010.[dead link]
- Clegg, Jonathan; Espinoza, Javier (31 March 2010). "Fantasy football comes alive". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- Lowe, Sid (9 July 2010). "Spain's "Tiki-taka" style dominates". SI.com. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
- Ross, Dan (22 March 2013). "Pukki the hero as Finland frustrate Spain". UEFA. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "World Cup qualifier: Spain on verge of qualification after 2-1 win over Belarus". Sky Sports News. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- "World Cup qualifiers: Holders Spain secured their passage with a 2-0 win over Georgia". Sky Sports News. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
- From 1963 to 1993 Spain participated with its amateur team
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