How Has Spain Performed in Previous World Cups?
Spain has won the World Cup once, and has placed fourth once. The team was at its peak in the late 2000s and early 2010s when they dominated the World Cup and in Europe.
Spain first entered the World Cup in 1938, when the event was held in Italy. They won the first round against Brazil, but then lost to the hosts and eventual winners of the competition, Italy, in the quarterfinals. They did not enter the World Cup in 1938 due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Spain next entered the competition in 1950, after the World Cup was relaunched following the Second World War. The Spanish team travelled to Brazil where they faced England, Chile and the US in the group stage. Spain won all their games to advance to the final round, where they faced Uruguay, Brazil and Sweden. Spain drew against Uruguay, and lost to both Brazil and Sweden, to finish in 4th place.
Spain did not qualify for the World Cup in 1954 and 1958, but returned to the tournament in 1962. In the 1962 and 1966 World Cups, the Spanish team did not manage to advance past the group stage. This came in stark contrast with the Spanish clubs during this period. In the European Cup, Real Madrid dominated the competition, winning all the tournaments held between 1956 and 1960. The Spanish team would also go on to win the 1964 European Championship, but the World Cup still evaded the team.
Spain did not qualify for the World Cups of 1970 and 1974, but they qualified for the competition in 1978. In 1982, Spain hosted the World Cup. Until then, the World Cup had favoured the hosts and things seemed promising for the Spanish team. They faced Northern Ireland, Honduras and Yugoslavia in the first group stage, and Spain finished second, qualifying for the next round. In the second group stage, Spain were put in a group with West Germany and England, They drew the game against England and lost to West Germany, crashing out of the competition.
In 1986, Spain had a great run in the World Cup, coming second to Brazil in the group stage, and then beating Denmark in the round of 16. They faced Belgium in the quarterfinals but were knocked out in a penalty shootout.
In 1994, Spain reached the quarterfinals again. They came second in their group, just two points behind group leaders Germany. Advancing to the round of the last 16, they beat Switzerland comfortably but then lost in the quarterfinals to Italy.
In the 2002 World Cup, Spain won their group stage and advanced to the round of the last 16 where they beat the Republic of Ireland. In their next game, they faced the hosts, South Korea, and after the game ended goalless and no team scored in extra time, the match went to a penalty shootout. Here, the hosts beat Spain in a big upset.
Entering the 2006 World Cup, Spain were number 3 in the World Rankings, and their team contained some huge stars such as Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Xabi Alonso, Xavi, David Villa, Fernando Torres, Raul and Cesc Fabregas. The team advanced to the knockout stage but was beaten by France.
In 2010, the same Spanish team returned to the World Cup with the addition of players such as Gerard Pique, Pedro, Sergio Busquts, Jesus Navas and Andres Iniesta. They did not struggle to win their group and faced Portugal in the round of the last 16. Beating Portugal, they went on to beat Paraguay and then Germany, before facing the Netherlands in the finals. This was the furthest the Spanish team ever reached in a World Cup. The game ended goalless after regular time, and then went into extra time. In the 116th minute of the game, Andres Iniesta broke through the Dutch defence and scored to win the game for Spain.
After winning the World Cup in 2010 and winning both the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, Spain was considered one of the best teams in the world. The 2014 World Cup therefore was a huge surprise as Spain crashed out in the group stage, winning only 1 match and losing to the Netherlands 5-1.
In 2018, the Spanish team was placed with Portugal, Iran and Morocco in one group. They won the group stage and proceeded to the round of the last 16 where they faced World Cup hosts Russia. After the game ended 1-1, the Russians won the match in a penalty shootout, knocking Spain out of the competition.
Spain’s Qualification Route to the World Cup
In their qualification group, Spain was placed with Georgia, Greece, Kosovo and Sweden. Spain won 6 out of the 8 games, scoring 15 goals and conceding 5. This was enough to put them at the top of the table and secure a place in the 2022 World Cup.
Spain’s World Ranking
Spain’s World Ranking at the start of the qualifiers in 2020 was 8th. After successful qualifiers and reaching the semi-finals in the 2020 European Championship, Spain managed to climb up the World Rankings to sit in 6th place.
Which Players Can Spain Play?
In goal, Spain can use David de Gea or Unai Simon. De Gea has more experience, but he has also struggled for form in big competitions for Spain. Simon, a local of the Basque country, plays for Athletic Bilbao and though he is only 25 years old, the player already has 25 caps for his country.
In defence, Spain has a number of both younger players and older, more experienced players. Raul Albiol, Cesar Azpilicueta, Inigo Martinez, Marcos Alonso, Dani Carvajal and Jordi Alba are all over 30, but they bring a lot of experience to the defence. Pau Torres, Eric Garcia, Aymeric Laporte and Jose Gaya all have over 15 caps for Spain, and Sergio Reguileon and Hugo Guillamon are also younger and extremely fast players.
The Spanish midfield in the glory days of 2006-2012 were crucial to the nation’s success in international competitions. The way the Spanish play their football really requires a midfield who can both keep possession and be able to pass the ball past their opponents. The current team is filled with talented players such as Sergio Busquets, Koke, Thiago, Mikel Merino, Sergi Roberto, Rodri, as well as the Barcelona teenagers Gavi and Pedri.
There is another Barcelona teenager in attack, Ansu Fati. The youngster may have fewer appearances than the midfield duo, but in Barcelona, he has shown that he can be a key player. The other attacking options include Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, Ferran Torres, Adama Traore, Mikel Oyarzabal and Rodrigo, amongst more.
How to Bet on Spain at the World Cup
There are several ways to bet on Spain at the World Cup. There are numerous player props available for each match, including those such as will a certain Spanish player score during the game, will they score the opening goal, will the player give an assist, and many more. In addition to props, you can also bet on whether you think a Spanish player will win the golden boot, golden glove, golden ball, or win the best young player award.
Golden Boot Bet
The top goalscorer in the World Cup will be given the golden boot. For Spain, it can be tricky to predict, as this will depend on whom they want to use in attack. Alvaro Morata has the most goals for Spain in the current possible roster, but players such as Ferran Torres, and Mikel Oyarzabal may also feature prominently for the team.
Best Young Player Bet
This will be an interesting category for Spain as they have three of the most highly rated teenagers in the World Cup. Ansu Fati, Gavi and Pedri all play for Barcelona, and are aged 19, 18 and 19, respectively. Whilst usually teenagers do not get a lot of game time, Ansu Fati has 42 senior caps for Barca and 4 for Spain, Gavi has 35 for Barca and 10 for Spain, and Pedri has the most with 50 for Barca and 12 for Spain. All three players are extremely exciting to watch, and though Ansu Fati has the least caps for club and country, he is probably the highest rated. He suffered two major injuries for Barca, reducing his playing time, but every time he returned he brought back the same level of skill and ability.
In addition to several bets on the individual matches that Spain will play, you will also find bets such as Spain to win their group or advance to the semi-finals, and Spain to win the World Cup.