Spain are the defending World Cup champions and go into the 2014 tournament bidding to make it four consecutive major championship victories.
Bookmaker Paddy Power
are quoting the best odds of 7/1 about Spain retaining the World Cup in Brazil and keeping it alongside the European Championship trophy which they captured in 2008 and won again four years later.
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Spain’s World Cup Group B schedule
Friday June 13, 20:00 BST: Spain v Netherlands (in Salvador)
Wednesday June 18, 20:00 BST: Spain v Chile (Rio de Janeiro)
Monday June 23, 17:00 BST: Spain v Australia (Curitiba)
Best odds for Spain to win the group: 5/6 (Paddy Power
Best odds for Spain to qualify from the group: 2/9 (Bet365
straight forecast betting (first and second in correct order):
Spain’s 3 star players
IKER CASILLAS (Goalkeeper)
These have not been the happiest couple of years at club level for Casillas, who fell out with former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and is also not flavour of the month with current incumbent Carlo Ancelotti. But the man who has lifted three major trophies for Spain remains the national team captain.
Iker Casillas (Getty Images)
One of the most consistent and influential midfielders of recent times, it’s difficult to imagine a Barcelona or Spain side without Xavi as its fulcrum. He has won well over 100 caps for his country and will be 34 when Brazil comes around, but remains a highly inspirational figure.
Xavi (Getty Images)
ANDRES INIESTA (Midfielder)
How can you ignore the man who scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final? Like his club and international colleague Xavi, he is one of the finest midfielders on the planet and has won everything with Barcelona and Spain during their respective golden periods.
Andres Iniesta on the ball for Spain (Getty Images)
How Spain got there
Qualifying Group I (Winners)
Georgia 0-1 Spain (Soldado)
Belarus 0-4 Spain (Pedro 3, Alba)
Spain 1-1 France (Ramos)
Spain 1-1 Finland (Ramos)
France 0-1 Spain (Pedro)
Finland 0-2 Spain (Alba, Negredo)
Spain 2-1 Belarus (Xavi, Negredo)
Spain 2-0 Georgia (Negredo, Mata)
Expected World Cup squad
Jordi Alba (Getty Images)
The Spain manager
VICENTE DEL BOSQUE
Vicente Del Bosque (Getty Images)
The former Real Madrid player and coach had opportunities to take charge of both the Spain and Mexico national teams before he eventually replaced Luis Aragones with his home nation straight after their Euro 2008 triumph.
Del Bosque’s World Cup record:
2010: Spain (Winners)
Spain’s best World Cup performances
The holders’ victory in South Africa was the first time they had progressed to the last four since 1950 in Brazil, where they finished fourth having been thrashed 6-1 in the semi-finals by the hosts and then lost 3-1 to Sweden in the third place play-off.
In 2010 the success was all the more remarkable in that Spain lost their first match of the tournament, 1-0 to Switzerland, and then after clinching qualification for the next stage with a 2-1 win over Chile, won all their four knockout phase games 1-0.
On four other occasions the Spanish have bowed out at the quarter-final stage – on their debut in 1934 and then 1986, 1994 and 2002.
In Brazil, Spain have been drawn with Chile and the Netherlands, two of their victims on the way to 2010 glory.
Value bet for Brazil
To lose in semi-finals (11/2, Bet365