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HomeWorld CupWorld Cup Team Watch: Spain

World Cup Team Watch: Spain

Since their 2010 World Cup win, Spain has lost just 20 matches out of the 154 played. Although the statistics appear excellent on paper, they only provide a partial, if not entirely, picture of the situation. Naturally, Vicente del Bosque’s team maintained their title as European champions in Euro 2012 after winning the World Cup, but soon weaknesses emerged. For the first time since France 98, they did not advance past the group stages of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and at Euro 2016, they were eliminated by Italy in the round of 16.

Spain performance at the 2018 World Cup in Russia was overshadowed by Julen Lopetegui’s abrupt resignation as manager before the event even got underway. Infuriated by the revelation that he had been named Real Madrid’s head coach and would assume the position after the competition, the Spanish FA stripped him of his duties and selected Fernando Hierro in his place. They were eliminated in the round of 16 once more, but this time it was by the hosts.

After the competition, Luis Enrique took over for Hierro, winning his first game at Wembley against England. He managed five other victories before stepping down to spend time with his daughter Xana, who had been diagnosed with bone cancer. Enrique’s assistant coach Roberto Moreno took over in the meantime, helped the squad qualify for Euro 2020, and then made it known he intended to be the team’s captain for the competition.

Three months after Xana’s passing, in November 2019, Enrique was reappointed, but Moreno, whom Enrique had branded “disloyal,” was unable to hang onto his position as leader. Happier times have generally followed. The group advanced to the semifinals of Euro 2020, came second to France in the 2021 Nations League, and will compete in the 2023 finals of that event.

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kenneth De Souza
kenneth De Souzahttps://thefootballindia.com/
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