The Spain national football team will participate in the 12th World Cup in a row; the team have not missed this tournament since 1974. The Spaniards won the title only once in 2010, at the heyday of one of the best generations in the history of football led by Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos.
Apart from the gold of the World Cup 2010, Spain have never won the world championship medals again. Prior to that, their best achievement was the 4th place in 1950.
Spain reached Qatar without much trouble: in a strong qualifying group including Sweden, Greece, Georgia and Kosovo, they lost points only twice, playing a draw with the Greeks and losing in Stockholm.
Spain is strong, which is proved by their last performances at major tournaments: the semi-final of UEFA Euro 2020 and the loss to France in the UEFA Nations League final. However, due to the youth of the players, the team’s performance is not consistent, especially in attack, where the most experienced player, 30-year-old Álvaro Morata is the perfect example of an inconsistent forward. Nevertheless, promising young players are growing up: Ferrán Torres, Ansu Fati, Pedri and Gavi can be a surprise.
Spain, as usual, are among the main favourites of the tournament, but the team is not lucky with their group rivals. According to bookmakers, the Spain national football team will reach the Round of 16 with a probability of more than 50%. But their chances to win the tournament are not that high – about 11%.
In addition to Spain, group E includes Germany, Japan and Costa Rica – the teams that can make some noise at the World Cup. As for Germany, there is nothing to add: in all history, at the World Cups, they have won prize places 12 times and have collected three sets of medals of each denomination.
Japan is traditionally one of the strongest Asian teams. Japanese football players are more and more willing to go to perform in Europe, and the current line-up will include members of Arsenal, Monaco, Real Sociedad – major clubs of top championships.
Theoretically, Costa Rica is the main outsider in the group; however, in 2014, they qualified first from the group with Italy, England and Uruguay.
Spain have a pretty manageable schedule with their first match against Costa Rica, the second one – against Germany, and the final round – against Japan. But, in the playoffs draw, luck is unlikely to be on their side: they can meet Belgium or Croatia.