Spain Unveils 2022 FIFA World Cup Squad

By Hank Blaine

Spain heads to their 12th consecutive World Cup appearance with Luis Enrique at the helm. However, their recent squad announcement left out several big-name players as the third-year head coach goes for a youth-centric lineup. The 52-year-old former FC Barcelona coach looks to strike a balance between experience and youth, calling up veteran names along with teenage stars.

The 2022 Spain FIFA World Cup squad looks strong leading up to the tournament. They lost just once this year and topped their Nations League group, taking down rivals Portugal along the way. La Roja is part of the group of death, having drawn Germany, Costa Rica, and Japan in Group E, and bears the best odds to win at -120.

Spain 2022 FIFA World Cup Squad Announcement

READ MORE: Portugal Unveils 2022 FIFA World Cup Squad

A collection of old and new

The 2010 FIFA World Cup winners look to return to the top of the table in the 22nd edition of the tournament. Putting a fresh coaching staff to work at the end of a chaotic 2018 run worked wonders for the team. Luis Enrique enters Qatar behind a formidable squad. It’s difficult to find a standout player in this collection of players, partly because he does not want egos clashing. For him, it’s all about the results they can produce as a team.

Alvaro Morata is the hottest commodity in Spain in terms of attacking. He is Spain’s best bet of claiming the top goalscorer award at +2,500. The youth is well-represented by Ansu Fati, Pedri, and Gavi. If we’re talking pure talent, there’s no shortage of that in this squad.

Spain 2022 FIFA World Cup lineup

There are two definitive elements of Luis Enrique’s system: a 4-3-3 position and his playing style. Players may rotate but the aforementioned are rudiments. His selection process prioritizes a player’s ability to connect and execute the plan. The approach has generally worked well for the nation, taking Spain to the Euro 2020 semis, where they narrowly lost on penalties to eventual tournament winners Italy. They had a seamless run in the World Cup qualifying group despite losing to Sweden in the process.

Led by veteran Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets, we see familiar names prepared to become the third back-to-back FIFA World Cup champions. Without further ado, here’s Portugal’s 26-man World Cup lineup:

Goalkeepers

  • Unai Simon (Athletic Club)
  • Robert Sanchez (Brighton & Hove Albion)
  • David Raya (Brentford FC)

Defenders

  • Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea FC)
  • Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid)
  • Eric Garcia (FC Barcelona)
  • Hugo Guillamon (Valencia CF)
  • Pau Torres (Villarreal CF)
  • Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City)
  • Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona)
  • Jose Gaya (Valencia CF)

Midfielders

  • Sergio Busquets (FC Barcelona)
  • Rodri Hernandez (Manchester City)
  • Gavi (FC Barcelona)
  • Carlos Soler (Paris St Germain)
  • Marcos Llorente (Atletico de Madrid)
  • Pedri Gonzalez (FC Barcelona)
  • Koke Resurreccion (Atletico de Madrid)

Forwards

  • Ferran Torres (FC Barcelona)
  • Nico Williams (Athletic Club)
  • Yeremi Pino (Villarreal CF)
  • Alvaro Morata (Atletico de Madrid)
  • Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)
  • Pablo Sarabia (Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig)
  • Ansu Fati (FC Barcelona)

The lineup can put pressure on any opponent while utilizing speed from the back, including the goalkeeper. Unai Simon is a modern goalkeeper that could initiate attacks from the back and play an effective role in their Euro 2020 campaign.

Meanwhile, potential problems standing in their way still emphasize a high defensive line that opens up counter-attack opportunities for opponents. The absence of a consistent goalscorer means the offensive load is evenly divided between the forwards, but Spain looks sturdy ahead of their match against Costa Rica coming in as -556 favorites.

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