Euro 2016 Group D

Spain

13 June - Czech Republic (2pm GMT, Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse)
17 June - Turkey (8pm GMT, Stade de Nice, Nice)
21 June - Croatia (8pm GMT, Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux)

Spain are looking for an unprecedented triple crown, but an insipid defence of the World Cup two years ago leaves cause for concern, as Andrew Tuft expains.

Viva Espana

Spain go to France in search of an unprecedented hat-trick of European Championship victories after triumphs in 2008 and 2012. Sandwiched between was success at World Cup 2010 but painful memories of Brazil four years later means this is a Spain side out to prove their best days aren’t behind them.

Coach: Vicente Del Bosque — Del Bosque plans on retiring post-Euro 2016 after taking Spain to never-before-reached heights, but lately has been accused of ignoring the new generation of players.

Preferred XI: Casillas; Azpilicueta, Ramos, Pique, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Cesc; Pedro, Morata, Silva

Spain retain experience from 2008, 2010 and 2012 but there’s a group of fresh faces knocking at the door too. The right balance needs to be found.

Look out for: Who starts in goal. Iker Casillas is the captain but David De Gea’s case for the No. 1 shirt grew stronger with each performance for Manchester United.

Did you know?

  • Spain will become the tournament’s most-successful country with another triumph - they’re currently level with Germany as three-time champions.
  • There were 44 years between Spain’s first tournament win in 1964 and their second, in 2008.
  • Spain went 509 minutes without conceding a goal at Euro 2012 with only Italy, in the 1-1 draw in the opening group stage match, breaching the defence.

Spain versus…

…Czech Republic P 4 W 3 D 1 L 0 F 5 A 1
…Turkey P 10 W 5 D 4 L 1 F 14 A 5
...Croatia P 5 W 3 D 1 L 1 F 6 A 4

Stats

Population: 46.4m
Nickname: La Roja
Calcio fans might remember... Luis Suarez - Inter (1961-70), Sampdoria (1970-73)
Top Division: La Liga
FIFA world ranking: 6
International honours: European Championship (1964, 2008, 2012), World Cup (2010)
Most capped player: Iker Casillas (166)
Leading international scorer: David Villa (59)
Spain at the European Championships:

1960 - Withdrew
1964 - Champions
1968 - Did not qualify
1972 - Did not qualify
1976 - Did not qualify
1980 - Group stage
1984 - Runners-up
1988 - Group stage
1992 - Did not qualify
1996 - Quarter-finals
2000 - Quarter-finals
2004 - Group stage
2008 - Champions
2012 - Champions

How they got to Euro 2016: Spain topped Group C with nine wins from 10, finishing five points clear of the only team to beat them, Slovakia.