This is the Spain squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar: stars, players, possible starting line-up
Led by Luis Enrique, Spain arrive in Qatar as one of the favorites for the World Cup, with the likes of Pedri, Sergio Busquets and Ansu Fati standing out.
After the mess of 2018 with the arrival and dismissal of Julen Lopetegui and after the forced absence of Luis Enrique due to a personal problem, the manager has a new identity for La Roja with young players and an ideal draw (6 wins, a draw and a loss ).
Now she is seventh in the FIFA ranking. At the Eurocup, staged in 2021, Spain were semi-finalists, eliminated by eventual champions Italy, and are top of Group A2 in the League of Nations. In 2021 they lost the final of the last edition of this league against France, but since then they have only lost one game (against Switzerland).
Here’s a look back at the stars of La Roja.
The Spanish stars of Qatar
The midfielder from the Canary Islands for FC Barcelona is already one of the figureheads of Spanish football at just 19 years old due to his enthusiasm for the game and his indestructible physique.
In 2020 he made his debut in the Spanish First Division. In 2021 he made his debut with the all-Spanish team to play the qualifiers for the World Cup in Qatar. That year he finally played at the Eurocup and Tokyo 2020 Olympics (postponed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic). Since then he has become a fixture for both his club and national team.
In 2021 he also won the Golden Boy, the Ballon d’Or-style award that recognizes the best young player in the world under the age of 21.
At 34, he is captain of the team.
He was world champion with Spain 2010 and Europe 2012 and this will be his fourth World Cup. He also won the Champions League three times with FC Barcelona.
He is the third player with the most games in the history of the Spanish team with 139 games before the start of the World Cup in Qatar.
Despite his age and suffering in most physical games, Busquets is one of the indispensable midfielders for FC Barcelona and the Spanish team due to his ability to organize the game.
Another promising youngster from FC Barcelona and the Spanish side is Ansu Fati. At 20 years old, the forward is one of the most talented players in Spanish football as he can score goals and look at goal, but he comes to Qatar 2022 with the shadow of certainty if he can regain his level after two years that he has suffered serious injuries, including one to the meniscus, which led to surgery.
Spain coach Luis Enrique said that he was one of the players who surprised him the most when he saw him for the first time: “The first ball Ansu touched, he hit his target and they gave him a penalty and I said a partner ‘but what is this, Oliver and Benji (known as Supercampeones in Latin America)?'”.
At 17 years and 311 days, he became the youngest player to score an official goal in the history of the Spanish side until he was surpassed by teammate and international Gavi at 17 years and 304 days.
Complete list of those summoned from Spain
When announcing the squad for the World Cup, Luis Enrique, with his particular style, said he had a “Macanuda” list. “I have no doubts that we will fight,” he said.
This is the list of the 26 call-ups, which features some notable absences such as defender Sergio Ramos and striker Lago Aspas.
Possible starting line-up
Spain make their debut against Costa Rica this Wednesday. He also meets Germany (Sunday 27 November) and Japan (Thursday 1 December) in the group stage.
According to the Marca forecast, there are eight players on the field for this Tuesday: Unai Simón in goal; Dani Carvajal, Laporte and Jordi Alba in defence; Busquets, Pedri and Gavi in midfield and Marco Asensio up front. The greatest doubts, other local media such as Antena 3 agree, lie in the offensive.
In a recent Twitch broadcast, Luis Enrique rated the Costa Rica team. “The game against Costa Rica will be similar to the one against Jordan. A team locked in at the back, something we usually find in Spain national team games. They’re difficult games, but they also have a lot of opportunities if we do it create.” circulating the ball quickly when we get inside, outside when we finish… it’s difficult but we’re used to it and it doesn’t worry me,” he said.
With information from Sergio Gómez, Sebastián Jiménez Valencia, Felipe Monforte and Ángela Reyes from CNN en Español.