Iker Casillas (167)
10 (9 March 2017)
La Furia Roja (The Red Fury) La Furia (The Fury) La Roja (The Red [One])
1 (July 2008 – June 2009, October 2009 – March 2010, July 2010 – July 2011, October 2011 – July 2014)
Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF)
The Spain national football team (Spanish: Selección de fútbol de España) represents Spain in men's International association football and is controlled by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, the governing body for football in Spain. The current head coach is Julen Lopetegui after Vicente del Bosque stepped down following Euro 2016. The Spanish side is commonly referred to as La Roja ("The Red [One]"), La Furia Roja ("The Red Fury"), La Furia Española ("The Spanish Fury") or simply La Furia ("The Fury"). Spain became a member of FIFA in 1904 even though the Spanish Football Federation was first established in 1909. Spain's national team debuted in 1920. Since then, the Spanish national team has participated in a total of 14 of 20 FIFA World Cups and 9 of 14 UEFA European Championships.
- Style of play
- Home stadium
- Media coverage in Spain
- Current squad
- Recent call ups
- Most capped players
- Top goalscorers
- Results and fixtures
- Competitive record
- Summer Olympics
- Mediterranean Games
- Other awards
Spain are one of eight national teams to have been crowned FIFA World Cup champions, having won the 2010 tournament in South Africa, defeating the Netherlands 1–0 to become the first European team to win the title outside of Europe as well as having won back-to-back European titles in Euro 2008 and Euro 2012, defeating Germany and Italy in the respective finals. These three successive titles make them the only national team so far with three consecutive wins of either the applicable continental championship or the World Cup. From 2008 to 2013, a six-year span, the national team won FIFA Team of the Year, the second-most of any nation, behind only Brazil. Between November 2006 and June 2009 Spain went undefeated for a record-equalling 35 consecutive matches before their upset loss to the United States, a record shared with Brazil. The team's achievements have led many commentators, experts and former players to consider the 2010 and 2012 Spanish sides among the best ever international sides in world football.
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.
Javier Clemente was appointed as Spain's coach in 1992, leading them to 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 he 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 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. Two years later, however, they were eliminated from the group stage of the 2014 World Cup.
Spain's traditional kit is a red jersey with yellow trim, dark blue shorts, and red socks while their current away kit is all white. The colour of the socks altered throughout the 1990s from black to the same colour as the blue shorts. Spain's kits have been produced by manufacturers including Adidas (from 1982 until 1984), Le Coq Sportif (from 1984 until 1992) and Adidas once again (since 1992).
Their current home kit is now all red. The current third kit is all white with red and yellow trim. 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.
Style of play
Tiki-taka is, above all, a systems approach to football founded upon 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 has been used successfully by the Spanish national team to win UEFA Euro 2008, 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012.
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".
Spain does not have a designated national stadium, and as such, major qualifying matches are usually played at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid. Other large grounds used include the Vicente Calderón Stadium, also in Madrid, and the Mestalla in Valencia. Spain are unbeaten in competitive matches played at the Calderón. Some international friendlies are played in these larger stadia, as well as the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium in Seville. Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain has not hosted an international match with Spain playing since 2004 (held at the Montjuic Olympic Stadium), and the largest stadium in Spain and Europe, the Camp Nou has not hosted an international match with Spain playing since 1987.
Other friendly matches, as well as qualifying fixtures against smaller opponents, are played in provincial stadia. The 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign included matches at El Molinón in Gijón, the Iberostar Stadium in Palma, and the Estadio Carlos Belmonte in Albacete.
Media coverage in Spain
Spain's UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying and 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification matches, will be televised nationwide by La 1, flagship television channel of the public broadcaster TVE.
The following players have been called up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification game against Israel on 24 March 2017 and friendly match against France on 28 March 2017.
Caps and goals updated as of 28 March 2017 after the match against Israel.
The following players have been called up for the team in the last twelve months.
Iker Casillas holds the record for most appearances for the Spanish team with 165 since 2000. He is one of eight Spanish players to have reached 100 caps. Sergio Ramos has played for Spain 140 times since his debut in 2005 and is the second most capped player. Xavi is third, having played 133 times between 2000-2013.
David Villa holds the title of Spain's highest goalscorer, scoring 59 goals since 2005–2014, during which time he played for Spain on 97 occasions. Raúl González is the second highest goalscorer, scoring 44 goals in 102 appearances between 1996–2006. Fernando Torres is the third highest goalscorer with 38 goals in 110 appearances since 2003.
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 first European national team to lift the World Cup trophy outside of Europe; along with Brazil, Germany and Argentina, Spain is one of the four national teams to have won the FIFA World Cup outside of its home continent.
Most capped players
Below is a list of the ten players with the most caps for Spain, as of 28 March 2017. Players in bold are still active at international level.
Below is a list of the top ten goalscorers for Spain, as of 28 March 2017.
Results and fixturesFor all past match results of the national team, see single-season articles and the team's results page
The following matches were played or are scheduled to be played by the national team in the current or upcoming seasons.
Competitive recordFor the all-time record of the national team against opposing nations, see the team's all-time record page.
Summer Olympics*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks. **Since 1968, Spain has sent its amateur national team. **Since 1992, Spain has sent its under 23 national team.
Resource: The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
HonoursThis is a list of honours for the senior Spanish national team
FIFA World Cup
UEFA European Championship
FIFA Confederations Cup