Euro 2012 teams

Team Profile: Spain

A look back at the key points of Spain's history in the Euros.

James Dall

Spain edged out Germany 1-0 in the Euro 2008 final

Overall record at finals: Played 30, Won 13, Drawn 9, Lost 8.


Best performance: Winners in 1964 and 2008.


Most appearances at finals: Rafael Gordillo - 10.


Most goals at finals: David Villa - 4.


European Championship high: Spain claimed their second European Championships title in 2008, after they won their first in 1964 with a 2-1 final victory over the Soviet Union in Madrid. In 2008, after cruising through their group at Austria and Switzerland, the Spaniards edged out Italy on penalties, before disposing of Russia with ease. In the final, a Fernando Torres goal proved the differences versus the Germans.


European Championship low: The years inbetween their aforementioned glories, as Spain became a nation dubbed the perennial underachievers. They threatened to break that run in 1984, only to lose to France in the final. Spain are now, however, the team to beat.


European Championship legend: Xavi. Arguably the best central midfielder of his generation, Xavi's masterful displays propelled Spain to success in 2008. He was named the Player of the Tournament, such were the level of his performances. Xavi boasts the ability to dictate a match, and he is again expected to be a vital player for La Roja this summer.


The story so far: Spain competed at the first European Championships, reaching the quarter-finals. Four years later they recorded continental success, defeating the Soviet Union on their town turf. Disappointment then followed, however, as they struggled - failing to qualify in 1972 - before impressing in 1984, when they were runners-up after losing to France. They lost on penalties to England at Euro 96 before, in 2008, Spain's brand of tika-taka football won over neutrals and fired them to silverware.


Qualification: Spain cruised to Euro 2012 qualification, enjoying a perfect record in Group I and topping the standings. An opening 4-0 scalp of Liechtenstein set the tone for their campaign, as they saw off the majority of their opponents with ease. Scotland threatened to dent their run, but were ultimately beaten 3-2 while the Czechs led against Spain before Vicente Del Bosque tweaked his side, who rallied to come from behind and earn victory.


Qualifying record: P8, W8, D0, L0, F26, A6, Pts24.


Most appearances: David Villa, Sergio Ramos (8).


Top goalscorer: David Villa (7).

 

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