【Qatar World Cup】Spain【Full Explanation】

National Team

All 32 teams participating in the World Cup in Qatar are introduced.

This time, we will introduce Group E, the Spain national team(La Furia Roja), which has transformed itself into a team that can compete with the best countries by combining traditional soccer with cutting-edge styles, but is suffering from a lack of decisive talents.


Basic Information

Number of appearances16th(12th consecutive
Highest AchievementVictory
FIFA Ranking6th
Capital cityMadrid
Population47.08 million
ManagerLuis Enrique
NicknameLa Furia Roja
 (The Red Fury)

<Results of last 6 games>

11/18Friendly matchJordan1-3A

・With Busquets and Jordi Alba as survivors, the Spanish national team, commonly known as “La Roja” is facing a generational change after the departure of the members who built the golden era of the “Invincible Armada” in the first half of the 2010s. La Roja”. The Spanish national team, known as “La Roja,” was facing a generational change after the departure of the golden generation of the “invincible squad” of the early 2010s, and while a place in the last eight would have been considered “good enough,” they made it to the last four at EURO 2020, and immediately afterwards to the Nations League final where they defeated Italy, the EURO 2020 champion, and played a good game against France, although they lost.

In the Nations League in June, they continued to suffer from the same problems they had in the World Cup qualifiers, such as a lack of success against lower-ranked teams and an inability to score goals despite their aggressive attacking. They were not included in the top group of candidates to win the World Cup in Qatar, and their reputation in Japan remained as an “underdog.

By combining the Spanish tradition of “possession soccer” with the “furious pressing immediately after losing the ball” which has become popular in the world of soccer, the team has established a style in which they always dominate the game and advance the match in the enemy’s territory. As a result, players with self-sacrifice and stamina who are willing to press are given priority, and technical players such as Thiago tend to be shunned.

<Group Stage Schedule 【Group E】>
Date of a matchLocal game start timeOpponentTotal match record
Section 1November 2319:00Coata Rica
2 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses
Section 2November 2722:00Germany
8 wins, 8 draw, 9 losses
Section 3December 122:00Japan
1 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses


(Name)Luis Enrique
(Date of birth)May 8, 1970(52)
(inauguration)Nov. 2019

”A Great General at both Ends of the Spectrum”

He was appointed as Spain’s national coach in 2018. He resigned due to family reasons, but took over again in 2019. He led the team to the last four at EURO 2020, his first time in charge of a major tournament.

In his first season with Barcelona in 2014, he won the Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League triple crowns; in the three years between 2014 and 2017, he won all three titles; he also set a record of 39 games undefeated and set a new club record for winning percentage.

He has a difficult personality and clashed with Messi when he was manager of Barcelona. While he adores the players to whom he owes allegiance, he is hostile to the media. In his mind, there are only enemies and allies, and his coaching career has only successes and failures.

A midfielder with excellent technique, he was a successful representative of Real Madrid and Barcelona during his active career, playing more than 500 games and scoring more than 100 goals.

・Messi and Pep rated him “the best coach”.

When he was a Real Madrid player, he recalled, “I seldom felt appreciated by the Real Madrid supporters, and I had no good memories there.

After retiring, he lived in Australia for a while to practice surfing.

Basic Formations & Tactics

Tradition and state-of-the-art systems are fused together, but the challenge is to attack the last 30 meters.

<Basic Formations>

Aggressive pressing” and “short counters” are the hallmarks of La Roja today.

The tactical concept of the team is to take the initiative through possession of the ball with short passes, which is traditional in Spain, and to approach the goal through organized coordination and combinations. The three frontrunners and inside halves are characterized by a lineup of lightweight players who use “technique” and “quickness” rather than physicality as their weapons.

・The concept of “when defending” and “when attacking” does not exist, and can be explained by the transition between offense and defense. The strength of the Spanish national team is that they are able to dominate with their athleticism and skill in these intense offensive and defensive transitions.

<At Attack>

The main means of attack is the “short counter. While winning the ball back and using their skills to fend off the opponent’s press, the players around the ball holder look for space. The passer chooses the best solution: “dribble toward the goal,” “combine with a nearby player to break down,” or “leave it to the side. or “leave it to the side”. If the passer is stuck, he or she passes back.

Rather than creative passing, the player must have “the ability to sustain an attack in a tight space surrounded by opponents.

Because the team attacks with the ball in the possession situation, there is no attacking formation, and the process to the goal is as simple as “cross ➡ shoot”; the greater the number of attacks, the more successful the team is in winning the ball in the enemy’s territory.

The problem is that they are having a hard time “attacking in the last 30 meters. Attackers such as Morata, Sarabia, Ferran, and Dani Olmo are all good in terms of combinations in tight spaces, off-the-ball movement, buildups, and breakdowns, but their “ability to break out of situations on their own” and “scoring ability” are mediocre. However, in terms of “ability to break through on their own” and “scoring ability,” they remain at a mediocre level.

The team’s domination of the ball and inability to score goals puts them at risk of conceding goals on the few opportunities they do have and putting them in an unfavorable position in the game. The EURO 2020 semifinal, in which they dominated the ball against Italy but failed to win, and the Nations League final, in which they were evenly matched with France but lost by two goals thanks to the individual efforts of Benzema and Mbappe, symbolize the limitations of this team.

<At Defense>

・When the ball is lost, press hard with multiple players. The two inside halves and three FWs must work in tandem, and they must have the stamina and strength to rush to the ball carrier immediately. The two inside halves and the three FWs must work in tandem to create a pincer move.

Defense means ball retrieval through intense pressing, pushing the final line up to near the halfway line and maintaining a compact formation of [4-3-3] to optimize pressing and support immediate retrieval. The quality of this negative transition is a weapon of the Spanish team.

If they are unable to regain possession immediately, they buy time to retire in stages with sustained pressure and smoothly transition to forming a defensive block in their own territory. Organized defense permeates the team, and precise space management prevents easy shots.

CBs E. Garcia, Laporte, and Pau have good build-up ability, but have difficulty with speed and defending against the opposition when they are forced to take up space behind the final line on the counter.

Star players(Top 8 )

Pedro González López (MF/Barcelona)

・”Spain’s Greatest Treasure”

He is the most talented player of his generation and has been compared to the genius Iniesta. He has the skill to dodge opponents’ pressure with a delicate touch of the ball, accurate long and short passing, and the quality to make a difference not only in the midfield but also in the last 30 meters with his dribbling, setting up from there, and assisting.

He has excellent physicality and tactical intelligence that allows him to accurately assess the situation on the pitch and choose the right play to advance the situation, working backwards from the goal, and one foot ahead of the opponent.

In defense, he not only has an excellent tactical sense to read the flow of play and intercept passes, but he is also precise in his counter-pressing when switching between attack and defense.

Gavi (MF/Barcelona

・”Golden Rookie who Grew Up in La Masia”

At the age of 17, he was selected for Barcelona’s first team and became one of the regulars.

The essence of his play is his ability to sneak between enemy lines to draw out a pass, his powerful dribbling to break through tight packs, and his fighting spirit as he works hard to win the ball and boldly takes on the challenge of a physical battle.

From his constant scanning of his surroundings, to his positioning that allows him to get unmarked and take an intermediate position while keeping his body facing the next play, to his simple and effective ball movement with two-touch ball handling, to his quick offensive and defensive switching and well-timed pressure, his performance has been compared to Xavi’s in his debut.

Sergio Busquets (MF/Barcelona

”La Roja’s Commanding Heights.”

He has terrific technique with his feet and his passing is accurate. He is one of the best anchors in the world, and is good at one-touch ball deployment, and builds his attacks with his unique timing. His vertical passes to the front line at the right moment and highly accurate side changes give me goosebumps.

Although he is not fast, and the horizontal space is a target for his opponents, he avoids danger in advance with his precise technique and excellent reading.

Álvaro Borja Morata (FW/Atletico Madrid)

”La Roja’s Pride and Joy is Its Versatile Striker.”

He is agile and gestures with his movements to call for a through pass, and he does not hesitate to swing his leg through the space behind him. He can also make the most of his teammates around him with his post play, dropping back to draw out a pass.

・In the national team, he is a regular CF player, leading the post play and press. Perhaps because of this, he has become more mentally stable and less hesitant in his play, and has been a prolific scorer for the club since the start of the 22/23 season.

Dani Olmo (FW/RB Leipzig)

“Cyborg in the Penalty Area”

・”Lubricant” that brings speed to the team in the Spain national team, which is a style centered on passwork. A versatile type that has high tactical intelligence and can be used as a “fake number 9” as well as both sides.

・Crawl between the lines and skillfully pull out passes to make a difference in the final third. Because of his high dribbling skills, he brings in himself and hits a mid-range shot, and as a last passer, he creates a shooting chance for his teammates.

He grew up in the Barcelona cantera, but has the unique distinction of making his professional debut with Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia.

César Azpilicueta (DF/Chelsea)

・”Iron Man of La Loja”

・He is a utility player who can be used anywhere in the last line.

・One of the best defenders in the Premier League, he is strong one-on-one and rarely makes a positioning error. Although it has been pointed out that his speed has waned a bit in recent years, his prodigious anticipation allows him to play both man-to-man on the flanks and cover in the center of the park without a hitch.

His tactical understanding is high, and the timing of his participation in attacks and accurate crosses are also attractive.

Pau Francisco Torres (DF/Villarreal)

・”Pride of a city and club with a population of 50,000”

・He is 191 cm tall, but has unusually good feet for his size. He is a complete CB who combines strength in the air with a speed that makes him one of the fastest in La Liga, and he does not allow any backdoor sneaking.

・He is a Spanish defender with excellent underfoot skills that make his presence felt in the build-up, and he also has the ability to make highly accurate long feeds that can change the game.

・He was linked with moves to Barcelona and Manchester United, but he turned a deaf ear to offers from big clubs and stayed with his hometown club.

Unai Simón (GK/Athletic Bilbao)

・”Mentality of steel”

・His weapon of choice is his saving ability. He saves the day in desperate situations with his amazing reflexes from a state of slackness, and his positioning and decision-making ability to make the most of it are also appealing. In addition, he is highly regarded for his precise long feeds, which are the starting point of counters.

In EURO 2020, he scored an own goal on a back pass, but made it “just a mistake” and made a series of fine saves afterwards.

Players List

NameAgeClub teamRepresentative Results (Goals)
Unai Simón25Athletic Bilbao25 caps・The technique underfoot is also refined year after year.
David de Gea32Manchester United45 caps・Last season, he was the club’s MVP.
Robert Lynch Sánchez25Brighton1 cap・Sharp reflexes and stable cross handling despite being a giant of a man
David Raya27Brentford
1 cap
・Climbing up from the 5th division in England with his excellent footwork.
Jordi Alba33Barcelona85 caps(8)・The gap between attack and defense has widened, making him third in Barcelona.
César Azpilicueta33Chelsea40 caps(1)・Rumored to move to Barcelona, but remains at Chelsea
Pau Francisco Torres25Villarreal19 caps(1)・If you improve your footwork and your defense against opponents, you will be a more near-perfect CB.
Eric García21Barcelona17 caps・Passing ability is at the level of a midfielder, but his defensive fragility is a drawback.
Aymeric Laporte28Manchester City15 caps(1)・The CB, who has all four of the four key elements of strength, height, speed, and footwork, has been slowed by injury this season.
Hugo Guillamón Sanmartín22Valencia3 caps
・ CB with the foot technique that the director wants
・I woke up suddenly after being appointed as an anchor last season
Raúl Albiol37Villarreal58 caps・Nicknamed “Gramps,” he also finished off Lewandowski and Vlahovic in the CL.
Daniel Carvajal30Real Madrid29 caps・Abundant athleticism, bringing stability in offense and defense, and high performance in CL
Iñigo Martínez31Athletic Bilbao19 caps(1)・Physicality and jumping ability cover for lack of upper body height
José Luis Gayà27Valencia17 caps(3)・A technician with speed and stamina, he contributes both offensively and defensively.
・Valencia Capitan
Diego Javier Llorente29Leeds10 caps・He brings stability to the defense with his speed and physicality, and delivers long feeds to the front line to break the deadlock.
Alejandro Balde Martínez19Barcelona0・Rapid SB that repeats up and down movements with explosive speed backed by track and field experience
Marcos Alonso31Barcelona9 caps・Strong against opponents, crosses and FKs from his highly accurate left foot are his weapons.
Sergio Busquets34Barcelona137 caps(2)・Members of the 2010 World Cup winning team
Pedro González López19Barcelona12 caps・Further evolution through physical modification
Gavi18Barcelona10 caps(1)・In the national team, his diving into space shines through.
Koke30Atletico Madrid66 caps・Tough guy with exceptional stamina and always in first place in mileage
Thiago Alcântara31 Liverpool46 caps(2)・World-class soccer sense, but often out with injury
Rodri26Manchester City33 caps(1)・He is an integral part of Manchester C. He is superior to Busquets in terms of physicality and speed.
Marcos Llorente27Atletico Madrid16 caps・His impressive sprinting and dribbling play that leads to scoring goals is appealing.
Mikel Merino26Real Ssociedad11 caps・A box-to-box, versatile midfielder who can scatter passes and be a ball-stopper.
Carlos Soler25Paris saint-germain9 caps(3)・Skill and tactical eye, plus improved scoring ability by learning to jump out of the second row.
Brais Méndez25Real Ssociedad4 caps(1)・He has a unique sense of style and can break through on his own. In front of goal, he can loop, heel, and sometimes make a golasso.
Álvaro Borja Morata30Atletico Madrid56 caps(26)・He missed a lot of chances at EURO 2020, but I don’t expect him to show that side of his face again.
Ferrán Torres22Barcelona28 caps(13)・Last season, he missed many chances and needs to improve his decision-making ability and playing accuracy.
Dani Olmo24RB Leipzig24試合(4)・Tired from the EURO and Tokyo Olympics, and plagued by injuries last season
Marco Asensio26Real Madrid28 caps(1)・Tired from the EURO and Tokyo Olympics, and plagued by injuries last season
・Although there were rumors of a transfer, he decided to stay, but he sometimes lost his temper when he was not allowed to play in games.
Pablo Sarabia30Paris saint-germain22 caps(9)・A high-spec attacker who excels at playing on the right side of the field, and when he receives the ball, he makes the most of his surroundings and scores goals as well.
Mikel Oyarzabal25Real Ssociedad21 caps(6)・With exceptional intelligence, he cuts into the opposition as a left winger and can also play the false 9.
・Recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and aiming to compete in the World Cup
Borja Iglesias29Real Betis1 cap・A big striker who scored 19 goals in official games last season, and has been playing an excellent role since the start of this season.
・In front of the goal, push up the attack with post play with the DF on your back and flow to the side to create space.
Gerard Moreno30Villarreal17 caps(5)・Benzema-like CF, breaking down individually and in combination from the starting point of an attack and setting up a goal.
・Despite being plagued by injuries last season, he scored 13 goals in 27 games
Adama Traoré26Wolverhampton8 caps・A sprinter who uses his muscular physicality, speed and technique to dribble up the right side of the field
・Monotony is a drawback.
Raúl de Tomás28Rayo Vallecano4 caps・Skillful positioning and flashes of brilliance to score goals even when outnumbered.
・Trouble with the coach and not even allowed on the bench at the club.
Yeremi Jesús Pino20Villarreal4 caps(1)・A super-sub who is strong, greedy, and playful, he makes things happen when he plays.
 Ansu Fati20Barcelona4 caps(1)・A prodigy who plays with his dribbling and feinting to get around defenders and scores goals with his natural shooting ability, reminiscent of Messi.
Nico Williams20Athletic Bilbao2 caps・A promising star who made his national team debut against Switzerland in September and made his presence felt in the two games he played.
・He is also improving his scoring ability, using his speed to stir up the front line.

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