World Cup 2022 Group E Team Guides: Spain

Two former World Cup winners — Spain and Germany — are the obvious favorites to advance, and their meeting on Nov. 27 is the marquee match of the first round. Stingy Japan has a solid squad and is the more likely of the other two teams to upset the natural order if one of the giants slips up. As for aging Costa Rica, surviving the first round will be an exceedingly tall order.

Everything you need to know about Spain:

Three Things You Need To Know About Spain

Three Things You Need To Know About Spain

Alexi Lalas gives us three things we need to know about Spain ahead of the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup.

Coach: Luis Enrique

Highest finish: Winners (2010)

2018 finish: Round of 16

FOX Bet odds: +800

Key players: Jordi AlbaSergio Busquets, Álvaro Morata

What we’re excited to watch: Spain has finally moved past their all-conquering golden generation; Busquets, the captain, is the lone remaining player from their 2010 World Cup winning squad. Enrique’s retooled La Roja is now ready for their moment. 

What success look like: While capable of winning it all, they’re probably four years away from being a legit title favorite. That said, a quarterfinal berth is the bare minimum.

Achilles heel: History. For all their talent and experience, Spain has punched below their weight at World Cups, with 2010 the exception. They’ve never made it past the quarters in 11 other tournament appearances.

X-Factor: Gavi. The 18-year-old playmaker has been a regular for La Roja since making his debut last year, and he has the potential to be a breakout star on the biggest stage.

Full roster

Goalkeepers: Unai Simón, Robert Sánchez, David Raya

Defenders: Dani Carvajal, César Azpilicueta, Eric García, Hugo Guillamón, Pau Torres, Laporte, Jordi Alba, Jose Gayá

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Rodri, Gavi, Carlos Soler, Marcos Llorente, Pedri, Koke

Forwards: Ferran Torres, Pablo Sarabia, Yeremy Pino, Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, Nico Williams, Ansu Fati, Dani Olmo

Doug McIntyre is a soccer writer for FOX Sports. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer with ESPN and Yahoo Sports and he has covered United States men’s and women’s national teams at multiple FIFA World Cups. Follow him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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