How Far Can Spain Go at UEFA Euro 2024?

Spain headed to UEFA Euro 2024 this summer as Nations League champions, however, with much lower expectations than in years gone by. La Roja were the dominant team on the planet throughout the late 2000s and early 2010s, becoming the first to win back-to-back European Championships, sandwiched either side of success at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Now, however, gone are the days of Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Fernando Torres.

Insteaad, a new generation has come to the fore under Luis de la Fuente. And like in those glory years, there are plenty of double acts leading the charge. The French central defensive duo of Aymeric Laporte and Robin Le Normand have become first-choice for de la Fuente. Out wide, talented youngsters Nico Williams and 16-year-old Lamine Yamal look like they could go past any full-back on the planet. With three victories now under their belt and top spot already secured, we decided to take a look at just how far this talented side can go.


Three Wins Out Of Three Against Two of Europe’s Finest

Heading into the Germany-hosted showdown this summer, Spain weren’t on too many people’s radar as a potential tournament winner. The likes of England and France found themselves at the top of the betting charts, with the Spanish as long as +900 with some outlets. However, following back-to-back victories against two of the continent’s finest, the latest live sports betting outright odds make them a much shorter +750 contender.

They kicked off their Euro 2024 campaign with an emphatic victory over Croatia, a team that finished in third place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and reached the final of the one before that in Russia. Many expected them to contend for glory once more thanks to their midfield trio of the evergreen Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, and Matteo Kovacic. However, Zlatko Dalic’s side was put to the sword in 15 blistering minutes at the end of the first half

The first of three quickfire goals came in the 29th minute when often-maligned captain and talisman Alvaro Morata raced through to give his side the lead. Three minutes later Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Fabian Ruiz made it two before veteran fullback Dani Carvajal made it three on the stroke of halftime, nodding home from a corner just as he did in the UEFA Champions League final barely a fortnight prior.

Things wouldn’t get any easier for Spain as they faced reigning champions Italy in their second game. If the match against Croatia displayed the attacking flair of de la Fuente’s side, then this clash against the Azzurri would showcase their patience and resilience. Despite dominating for long periods, Spain were unable to find a breakthrough in a tight first half. However, they were clearly the better side, and that would show as much in the second stanza.

The game was a tightly contested affair with few clear-cut chances. Both teams battled for control in midfield, and it was clear that a single moment of brilliance or a defensive lapse could decide the match. Spain’s backline, marshalled by the aforementioned Laporte, stood firm against an Italian attack that never truly threatened. In the 55th minute, Spain managed to nick the lead through an own goal from the impressive Riccardo Calafiori, whose stock has risen considerably since the start of the tournament.

The 1-0 victory over Albania with a heavily rotated side secured Spain’s progression to the knockout stage as group winners with a game to play. But how far can they go from here?


The Road to Berlin

With Spain confirmed as the winners of Group B, they will face off against one of the best-placed third-place teams in the second round, making them strong favourites to progress to the quarter-finals. Should they do exactly that, then a mouthwatering clash against hosts Germany awaits. Die Mannschaft have been the stars of the show on home turf thus far, winning their first two games dominantly and they will fancy their chances of lifting the trophy in the Berlin Olympiastadion on July 14th.

The pair met in the Euro 2008 final, a clash that Spain won thanks to Fernando Torres’ well-taken winner in Vienna. The two met once more in the semifinals of the World Cup two years later, and the Spanish once again walked out victorious thanks to captain Carles Puyol’s second-half header. Will they be able to make it three from three in the quarterfinals this year?

Should they win that clash, then either Portugal, the Netherlands, or Belgium would likely await in the semifinals in Munich on July 9th, before facing a potential match-up with favourites on the other side of the draw France or England in Berlin in the final five days later.

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