Spain national football team
The Spain national football team (Spanish: Selección Española de Fútbol) has represented Spain in international men's football competition since 1920. It is governed by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain.
|Nickname(s)||La Roja (The Red One)|
La Furia Roja (The Red Fury)
|Association||Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF)|
|Head coach||Luis Enrique|
|Most caps||Sergio Ramos (170)|
|Top scorer||David Villa (59)|
|Current|| 8 |
|Highest||1 (July 2008 – June 2009, October 2009 – March 2010, July 2010 – July 2011, October 2011 – July 2014)|
|Lowest||25 (March 1998)|
|Current|| 4 |
|Highest||1 (September 1920 – May 1924, September – December 1925, June 2008 – June 2009, July 2010 – June 2013)|
|Lowest||19 (June–October 1969, November 1991)|
(Brussels, Belgium; 28 August 1920)
(Madrid, Spain; 22 August 1933)
(Amsterdam, Netherlands; 4 June 1928)
(London, England; 9 December 1931)
|Appearances||15 (first in 1934)|
|Best result||Champions (2010)|
|Appearances||11 (first in 1964)|
|Best result||Champions (1964, 2008, 2012)|
|Appearances||2 (first in 2009)|
|Best result||Runners-up (2013)|
Spain are one of the eight national teams to have been crowned worldwide champions, having participated in a total of 15 of 21 FIFA World Cups and qualifying consistently since 1978. Spain has also won three continental titles, having appeared at 10 of 15 UEFA European Championships.
Spain became the first European team to win a FIFA World Cup outside of Europe, having won the 2010 tournament in South Africa, as well as having won back-to-back European titles in Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, defeating Germany and Italy in the respective finals, making them the only national team with three consecutive major titles. Because of this, from 2008 to 2013, the national team won the FIFA Team of the Year, the second-most of any nation, behind only Brazil. Also between November 2006 and June 2009, Spain went undefeated for a record-equalling 35 consecutive matches, a record shared with Brazil. Their achievements have led many experts and commentators to consider the 2008–2012 Spanish squads, among the best ever international sides in world football.
Spain has been a member of FIFA since FIFA's foundation in 1904, even though the Spanish Football Federation was first established in 1909. 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 28 August 1920 against Denmark, silver medallists at the last two Olympic tournaments. The Spanish managed to win that match by a scoreline of 1–0, eventually finishing with the silver medal. Spain qualified for their first FIFA World Cup in 1934, defeating Brazil in their first game and losing in a replay to the hosts and eventual champions Italy in the quarter-finals. The Spanish Civil War and World War II prevented Spain from playing any competitive matches between the 1934 World Cup and the 1950 edition's qualifiers. At the 1950 finals in Brazil, they topped their group to progress to the final round, then 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 when hosting the 1964 European Championship held in Spain, defeating the Soviet Union 2–1 in the final at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. The victory would stand as Spain's lone major title for 44 years. Spain was selected as host of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, reaching the second round and four years later they reached the quarter-finals before a penalty shootout defeat to Belgium. Spain reached the quarter-finals of the 1994 World Cup. The match became controversial when Italian defender Mauro Tassotti struck Luis Enrique with his elbow inside Spain's penalty area, causing Luis Enrique to bleed profusely from his nose and mouth, but the foul was not noticed nor sanctioned by referee Sándor Puhl. Had the official acknowledged the foul, Spain would have merited a penalty kick. In the 2002 World Cup, Spain won its three group play matches, then defeated the Republic of Ireland on penalties in the second round. They faced co-hosts South Korea in the quarter-finals, losing in a shootout after having two goals controversially called back for alleged infractions during regular and extra time.
At UEFA Euro 2008, Spain won all their games in Group D. Italy were the opponents in the quarter-final match, which Spain won 4–2 on penalties. They then met Russia again in the semi-final, beating them 3–0. In the final, Spain defeated Germany 1–0, with 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 final for the first time ever by defeating Germany 1–0. In the decisive match against the Netherlands, Andrés Iniesta scored the match's only goal, coming in extra time. Spain became the third team to win a World Cup outside their own continent, and the first European team to do so. Goalkeeper Iker Casillas won the golden glove for only conceding two goals during the tournament, while 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. They became the first team to retain the European Championship, winning the final 4–0 against Italy, while Fernando Torres won the Golden Boot for top scorer of the tournament.
The other most common nickname, known by fans, is "Los Toros" (Fighting Bulls), since Spanish Fighting Bull is one of Spain's famous national treasures and often used to define Spanish culture, and also often depicted by Spanish supporters alike. Spanish football team is sometimes also referred as the Bulls due to this cultural heritage.
Spanish team also received other nicknames, mostly "Toreros" or "Matador", both meanings are Bullfighters in Spanish, to describe its passionate and romantic style of football playing.
Style of play
During Spain's most successful period between 2008 and 2012, the team played a style of football dubbed 'tiki-taka', a systems approach to football founded upon the ideal of 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 Barcelona and 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.
Tiki-taka was successfully employed by the Spanish national team to win UEFA Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012. The team of this era is regarded as being among the greatest international teams in history.
— Phil McNulty of the BBC on the midfield players at the heart of Spain's tiki-taka passing style of play.
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".
We have the same idea as each other. Keep the ball, create movement around and off the ball, get in the spaces to cause danger.— Xabi Alonso (Spanish midfielder).
Kits and crest
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spain national football team kits.|
Spain's kit is traditionally a red jersey with yellow trim, dark blue shorts and black socks, whilst their current away kit is all predominantly white. The colour of the socks altered throughout the 1990s from black to the same blue colour as the shorts, matching either the blue of the shorts or the red of the shirt until the mid-2010s when they returned to their traditional black. Spain's kits have been produced by manufacturers including Adidas (from 1981 until 1983), Le Coq Sportif (from 1983 until 1991) and Adidas once again (since 1991). 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 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.
|1991–present||Current until 2030|
Spain does not have a designated national stadium, and as such, major qualifying matches are usually played at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid. The capital city Madrid (Bernabéu and Metropolitano), Seville (Pizjuán and Villamarín), Valencia (Mestalla and Orriols) and Barcelona (Camp Nou and Montjuïc), are the four Spanish cities that have hosted more than 15 national team matches, while also being home to the largest stadiums in the country.
Other friendly matches, as well as qualifying fixtures against smaller opponents, are played in provincial stadia. The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign included matches at the Reino de León in León, Los Cármenes in Granada, El Molinón in Gijón, and the Rico Pérez in Alicante.
The following players were called up to the Spain squad for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying fixtures against Malta and Romania on 15 and 18 November 2019 respectively.
Caps and goals correct as of: 18 November 2019, after the match against Romania.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||David de Gea||7 November 1990||41||0|
|13||GK||Kepa Arrizabalaga||3 October 1994||10||0|
|23||GK||Pau López||13 December 1994||2||0|
|15||DF||Sergio Ramos (Captain)||30 March 1986||170||21|
|3||DF||Raúl Albiol||4 September 1985||56||0|
|22||DF||Jesús Navas||21 November 1985||42||5|
|2||DF||Dani Carvajal||11 January 1992||24||0|
|14||DF||Juan Bernat||1 March 1993||11||1|
|4||DF||Iñigo Martínez||17 May 1991||11||0|
|18||DF||José Luis Gayà||25 May 1995||7||1|
|6||DF||Pau Torres||16 January 1997||1||1|
|5||MF||Sergio Busquets (Vice-captain)||16 July 1988||116||2|
|20||MF||Santi Cazorla||13 December 1984||81||15|
|10||MF||Thiago||11 April 1991||37||2|
|8||MF||Saúl||21 November 1994||19||3|
|16||MF||Rodri||22 June 1996||11||0|
|17||MF||Fabián||3 April 1996||6||1|
|11||MF||Pablo Sarabia||11 May 1992||3||1|
|12||MF||Dani Olmo||7 May 1998||1||1|
|7||FW||Álvaro Morata||23 October 1992||33||17|
|9||FW||Paco Alcácer||30 August 1993||19||12|
|21||FW||Mikel Oyarzabal||21 April 1997||7||2|
|19||FW||Gerard||7 April 1992||3||3|
The following players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months.
|Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club||Latest call-up|
|DF||Diego Llorente||16 August 1993||5||0||v. |
|DF||Sergio Reguilón||16 December 1996||0||0||v. |
|DF||Jordi Alba||21 March 1989||70||8||v. |
|DF||Mario Hermoso||18 June 1995||5||0||v. |
|DF||Unai Núñez||30 January 1997||1||0||v. |
|DF||Sergi Gómez||28 March 1992||0||0||v. |
|MF||Dani Ceballos||7 August 1996||9||1||v. |
|MF||Luis Alberto||28 September 1992||1||0||v. |
|MF||Suso||19 November 1993||5||0||v. |
|MF||Dani Parejo||16 April 1989||4||0||v. |
|MF||Isco||21 April 1992||38||12||v. |
|MF||Sergi Roberto||7 February 1992||7||1||v. |
|MF||Sergio Canales||16 February 1991||2||0||v. |
|FW||Rodrigo||6 March 1991||22||8||v. |
|FW||Adama Traoré||25 January 1996||0||0||v. |
|FW||Marco Asensio||21 January 1996||24||1||v. |
|FW||Iago Aspas||1 August 1987||18||6||v. |
|FW||Iker Muniain||19 December 1992||2||0||v. |
|FW||Jaime Mata||24 October 1988||1||0||v. |
INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
David Villa holds the title of Spain's highest goalscorer, scoring 59 goals since 2005, during which time he played for Spain on 98 occasions. Raúl González is the second highest goalscorer, scoring 44 goals in 102 appearances between 1996 and 2006.
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 inaugural European national team to lift the World Cup trophy outside Europe; along with Brazil, Germany and Argentina, Spain is one of the four national teams to have won the FIFA World Cup outside its home continent.
Most capped players
Below is a list of the ten players with the most caps for Spain, as of 18 November 2019. Players in bold are still active at international level for the national team.
|1||David Villa (list)||2005–2017||59||98||0.6|
|3||Fernando Torres (list)||2003–2014||38||110||0.35|
|8||Alfredo Di Stefano||1957–1961||23||31||0.74|
|Sergio Ramos (list)||2005–||21||170||0.12|
Worst Ranking Best Mover Worst MoverBest Ranking
|Spain's FIFA world rankings|
Results and fixtures
- For all past match results of the national team, see single-season articles and the team's results page
|23 March 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Spain ||2–1||Valencia, Spain|
|20:45 (UTC+1)||Report||Stadium: Mestalla|
Referee: Andris Treimanis (Latvia)
|26 March 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Malta ||0–2||Ta' Qali, Malta|
||Stadium: National Stadium|
Referee: Andrew Dallas (Scotland)
|7 June 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Faroe Islands ||1–4||Tórshavn, Faroe Islands|
|20:45 (19:45 UTC+1)||
Referee: Enea Jorgji (Albania)
|10 June 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Spain ||3–0||Madrid, Spain|
|20:45||Report||Stadium: Santiago Bernabéu|
Referee: William Collum (Scotland)
|5 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Romania ||1–2||Bucharest, Romania|
|20:45 (21:45 UTC+3)||
||Report||Stadium: Arena Națională|
Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Germany)
|8 September 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Spain ||4–0||Gijón, Spain|
|20:45||Report||Stadium: El Molinón|
Referee: Krzysztof Jakubik (Poland)
|12 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Norway ||1–1||Oslo, Norway|
|20:45 (19:45 UTC+1)||Report||
||Stadium: Ullevaal Stadion|
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
|15 October 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Sweden ||1–1||Solna, Sweden|
||Stadium: Friends Arena|
Referee: Clément Turpin (France)
|15 November 2019 UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification||Spain ||7–0||Cádiz, Spain|
|20:45 (19:45 UTC+1)||Report||Stadium: Ramón de Carranza|
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)
|29 March 2020 Friendly||Netherlands ||v||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|21:00 CEST (UTC+02:00)||Stadium: Johan Cruyff Arena|
|15 June 2020 UEFA Euro 2020||Spain ||v||Bilbao, Spain|
|21:00 CEST (UTC+02:00)||Report||Stadium: San Mamés|
|20 June 2020 UEFA Euro 2020||Spain ||v||Bilbao, Spain|
|21:00 CEST (UTC+02:00)||Report||Stadium: San Mamés|
- For the all-time record of the national team against opposing nations, see the team's all-time record page.
FIFA World Cup
Runners-up Third place Fourth placeChampions
|FIFA World Cup record||FIFA World Cup qualification record|
|Did not enter||Did not enter|
|Did not qualify||3||1||1||1||6||3|
|Did not qualify||6||2||2||2||10||6|
|Round 2||12th||5||1||2||2||4||5||Qualified as host|
|Round of 16||10th||4||2||1||1||6||4||8||6||1||1||20||3|
|Round of 16||9th||4||3||0||1||9||4||12||6||6||0||25||5|
|Round of 16||10th||4||1||3||0||7||6||10||9||1||0||36||3|
|To be determined||To be determined|
- *Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
- **Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
- ***Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.
|Spain's World Cup record|
(27 May 1934; Genoa, Italy)
(24 June 1998; Lens, France)
(13 July 1950; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
|Best Result||Champions at the 2010 FIFA World Cup|
|Worst Result||Group stage in 1962, 1966, 1978, 1998 and 2014|
UEFA European Championship
|UEFA European Championship record||Qualification record|
|Did not qualify||2||2||0||0||7||2|
|Did not qualify||8||3||2||3||7||5|
|Did not qualify||7||3||0||4||17||12|
|Round of 16||10th||4||2||0||2||5||4||10||9||0||1||23||3|
|To be determined||To be determined|
|Spain's European Championship record|
(Madrid, Spain; 17 June 1964)
(Gdańsk, Poland; 14 June 2012)
(Kiev, Ukraine; 1 July 2012)
(Paris, France; 27 June 1984)
(Munich, West Germany; 17 June 1988)
(Saint-Denis, France; 27 June 2016)
|Best Result||Champions in 1964, 2008, and 2012|
|Worst Result||Group stage in 1980, 1988 and 2004|
UEFA Nations League
|UEFA Nations League record|
|2020–21||A||To be determined|
|Spain's Nations League record|
(London, England; 8 September 2018)
(Elche, Spain; 11 September 2018)
(Seville, Spain; 15 October 2018)
(Zagreb, Croatia; 15 November 2018)
|Best Result||7th place in 2018–19|
|Worst Result||7th place in 2018–19|
FIFA Confederations Cup
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|UEFA did not participate|
|Did not qualify|
|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)
|Best Result||Runners-up in 2013|
|Worst Result||Third place in 2009|
|Olympic Games record|
|Did not qualify|
|1968–1988||See Spain national amateur football team|
|Since 1992||See Spain national under-23 football team|
|Total||1 Silver Medal||3/9||9||5||1||3||18||15|
- Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
|Mediterranean Games record|
|Did not qualify|
|1955–1967||See Spain national amateur football team|
|Did not enter|
|Since 1991||See Spain national under-23 football team or Spain national under-20 football team|
or Spain national under-18 football team
- 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
- Spain national football team head to head
- International Double
- Spanish pronunciation:
Selección española de fútbol [seleɣˈθjon esˈpaɲola de ˈfuðβol]
- Spain refused to travel to the Soviet Union for their qualification quarter-final, so Spain were disqualified and the Soviet Union were awarded a walkover victory.
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- Since 1992, squads for Football at the Summer Olympics have been restricted to three players over the age of 23. These matches are not regarded as part of the national team's record, nor are caps awarded.
- http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/fifa-awards.html#team Archived 12 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine
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- Spanish players named in the team of the tournament were: goalkeeper and captain Iker Casillas; defenders Carles Puyol and Carlos Marchena; midfielders Xavi, Cesc Fàbregas, Andrés Iniesta and Marcos Senna; and strikers David Villa and Fernando Torres.
- "Euro 2012: Spain striker Fernando Torres wins Golden Boot award". BBC Sport. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- 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.
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- Adidas Extends Spain Kit Deal
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