Spain is a fantastic footballing nation, home to one of the best league’s in the world and some of the greatest players of all time.
After a golden generation that helped them to two European Championships and one World Cup, Spain have found themselves in the doldrums in recent years.
It was always to be expected after a period of such success and a team absolutely stuffed full of world class talent – with the added bonus being that most of those teams were made up of players from Barcelona.
Meaning most of the players already had a level of chemistry, something a lot of other international sides sorely miss. They had to drop off from those incredible levels at some point.
No Clear Favourites
Normally at a World Cup there is a clear favourite but this time around, there seems to be a real split of opinion.
A lot of people are favouring Argentina and Brazil, with holders France also in the conversation.
Some analysts are giving England and Spain an outside chance of taking home the glory.
A lot of bettors are getting in early on the action and taking advantage of promotions like free bet offers and enhanced odds to back their favourites ahead of the tournament.
Lack of Attacking Edge
Spain has a top manager in Luis Enrique, a man who won everything at Barcelona and who’s familiar with how a Spanish national side should play.
Yet still, they have struggled. Not all over the pitch but in front of goal, Spain seemed to be lacking something in the final third.
You could argue this has been a problem area since Villa retired, they tried Diego Costa which never yielded the results that were perhaps anticipated.
In recent times it’s been Alvaro Morata, a quality forward with a good goal scoring record, but he seems to lack something.
Maybe it’s the ability to create something from nothing and fashion his own chances, instead of relying on teammates to create chances for him.
It makes it hard to fully trust him on the biggest stage, all of the best attackers have the ability to pull a rabbit out of a hat and change games, but Enrique has admitted concerns over Ansu Fati’s fitness, as per reports from One Football.
Despite having so much success over the last two decades, it may surprise you to find out Spain have only got past the quarter finals of a World Cup once in the last 40 years and that was the year they won it, in 2010.
They have won only one game at each of the past two World Cup’s and they lost on penalties to hosts Russia in the round of 16 in 2018.
Lots of possession, capable, but little end product. Spain has always been a team with lots of talent, but they seem to be struggling to put teams away and translate that talent into goals.
Looking to the Future
This is a team that barely qualified, with their qualification coming down to the last game of the group.
Far too often, games are being drawn, going to penalties or being won 1-0.
However, things aren’t all bad. They’ve been getting some results in recent times and there seems to be a new generation emerging alongside the veteran spine in the team.
In Pedri and Gavi, you have two wonderkids and Barcelona products who look like the next in-line in a long list of Spanish midfield greats.
Pedri became the youngest player ever to play for Spain at the last European Championships. He also went to the finals of the Olympics last summer, being beaten by Brazil.
Fati is another with huge potential, his injury struggles over the past couple of seasons have hampered his progress with Xavi and Barcelona remaining cautious and not wanting to rush him back.
There is no doubt that if he plays, he’ll make Spain a better side.
Will they win it?
When you look at the Spanish team before this World Cup, you see a lot of potential, and a team that will probably be far stronger in four more years – not a team that has a strong chance of winning this World Cup.
Of course, you cannot write them off, and you wouldn’t bet against them, but it feels too soon for this side.