Post Credit – MC Nitro
Head coach: Luis Enrique (Spanish)
Captain: Sergio Busquets
Most capped player: Sergio Ramos (180)
Top scorer: David Villa (59)
FIFA ranking: 6
European Championship appearances: 11 (first in 1964)
Best run: Champions in 1964, 2008 and 2012
Group rivals: Sweden, Poland, and Slovakia
Key players: Koke, Sergio Busquets, Alvaro Morata, Jordi Alba, Thiago.
Status: La Furia Roja dominated world and European football between 2008 and 2014, winning back-to-back Euros and the World Cup in 2010 while playing scintillating football, the best ever seen in that period.
The team made up of that golden generation chiefly made up of players from Clasico rivals, Real Madrid and Barcelona has taken up an entirely new look and they have been a complete shadow of themselves since then.
Luis Enrique has however begun to build something solid with this new look Spanish team and they look reborn under him. They’ll have to fight to better their 2016 outing, which ended in an embarrassing 2-0 defeat at the hands of Italy in the round of 16.
They’ll have to do this without their charismatic captain and all-time highest appearance maker, Sergio Ramos, who was also the joint top scorer for Spain along with Àlvaro Morata and Rodrigo in the qualifying rounds with 4 goals.
Reports suggest that his poor physical condition forced the gaffer to drop him from the squad. The Spain squad was one that generated major controversy as Luis Enrique came up with a squad that had no Real Madrid player present.
Cries of sentiments and bias were made due to the decision and we wait to see how his side copes in the competition. A few years back, Spain would have been overwhelming favorites for the title but things have changed significantly since then.
Meanwhile, it’s no news that Real Madrid sympathizers would have the time of their lives criticizing Luis Enrique if his side fails to make any significant progress.
Verdict: Expect them to win Group E and fight to win the trophy again for the first time since 2012.