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Spain Euro 2022 group stage fixtures
How they qualified
Major tournament record
Best European Championship performance: Semi-finals- 1997.
Most-recent European Championship performance: Quarter-finals- 2017.
FIFA World Cup
Best World Cup performance: Round of 16- 2019.
Most-recent World performance: Round of 16- 2019.
Spain at Euro 2022: Will the favourites lift their first silverware?
Spain have never won a major tournament but, right now, are bookies favourites to change that this summer.
So why is this?
Well, it isn’t la Roja’s recent tournament results, going out in the quarter-finals at the last two Euros and the round of 16 at the most-recent World Cup.
This actually means Spain have never won a knockout phase match a major tournament, eliminated on penalties by Austria five years ago.
But, Barcelona Femení’s rise in recent years, featuring a core of Spanish players, has led to many foreseeing international success.
Barça have reached three of the last four Champions League Finals, lifting the trophy in 2021, with ten of their players featuring in Spain’s squad.
So, will this turn out to be the case?
In qualification for this tournament, Spain won seven of eight matches, only dropping points in a draw against Poland in Lublin.
Subsequently, they’ve been even more impressive in World Cup qualifying, winning all six games without conceding, qualifying with two games remaining.
More pertinently, Jorge Vilda’s side were unbeaten in February’s Arnold Clark Cup, a friendly competition hosted by England.
La Roja were held to draws by both Germany and the hosts, before beating Olympic Gold medalists Canada 1-0 at Molineux.
One massive negative ahead of this tournament is the fact that star striker Jennifer Hermoso will miss out due to a serious knee injury.
Given that Jenni has scored 45 times for her country, including a brace in April’s victory over Scotland, this is a major blow.
Even without her, Spain’s squad boasts and array of talent, so will it all come together and deliver European Championship success?
Key players: Irene Paredes
Spain’s captain and rock at the back is Irene Paredes, dreaming of lifting the trophy at Wembley on 31 July.
Since making here debut 11 years ago, the 30 year old has accumulated 82 caps, starting all seven matches at the last two World Cups.
Paredes actually sat out February’s Arnold Clark Cup due to a thigh injury, but is back and raring to go ahead of the big one.
At club level, she won trophies with Athletic Club and Paris Saint-Germain, before claiming a domestic treble with Barcelona this season.
She also started nine of their 11 Champions League matches, including the final, as Barça relinquished their crown to Lyon in Turin.
Having scored an own goal when Spain were knocked out of Euro 2013 by Norway, Paredes will be hoping to create better memories this time round.
Key players: Mariona Caldentey
Another star of this side is Mariona Caldentey who, you guessed it, is also a Barcelona player.
Since joining the Catalan club in 2014, she’s picked up 11 major honours, starting May’s Champions League Final as her side were beaten by Lyon.
Overall, last season, Caldentey made just 24 appearances for Barça, due to injury, but these yielded eight goals and a further seven assists.
Meanwhile, in World Cup qualifying, the 26 year old has already scored eight times, including a first international hat-trick against Moldova in Chișinău
Despite starting three of four Euro 2017 matches, Caldentey is an even more key figure now, hoping to fire Spain to glory.
Key players: Alexia Putellas
With Barcelona teammate Jenni Hermoso sidelined, Alexia Putellas will be Spain’s main player in attack this summer.
Although, given that Putellas is the 2021 Ballon d’Or Féminin winner, this may well have been the case anyway.
For la Roja, she has 26 goals to her name, 12 of which have come since March 2020, although her last tournament goal came nine summers ago.
Since joining Barça in 2012, the 28 year old old has won 15 major trophies, scoring in each of the last two Champions League Finals.
In total, since the start of 2017/18, Putellas has scored 108 goals in just 195 appearances for Barça, which isn’t too bad is it?
If Spain do go all the way this summer, expect Putellas to be right up there in terms of the golden boot conversation.
Spain possible starting line-up for Euro 2022
Spain’s full squad for Euro 2022
What time is kick off between Spain vs Finland?
16:00, Friday 08 July 2022