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Team History

WORLD CUP HISTORY Spain
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES
15
WORLD CUP RECORD
29-12-18
BEST FINISH
Winner (2010)
GOALS SCORED (RANK)
92 (6th)
Spain notched a 3-1 victory over future powerhouse Brazil in its first World Cup game. The subsequent Quarter-finals matchup paired Spain against the host nation, Italy, resulting in a loss in extra time.
Did Not Participate
1942
1946
World Cup Not Held
FINISH
4th
A 3-0-0 record in the Group Stage placed Spain in the Final Round, along with Brazil, Sweden and Uruguay. Spain tied the eventual champions, Uruguay, but lost its other matches and finished fourth.
1954
1958
Did Not Participate
Spain traveled to Chile for the 1962 FIFA World Cup, but had the misfortune of being placed in a difficult group. Brazil and Czechoslovakia, which both beat Spain by a goal in group play, went on to meet in the Final of the Knockout Stage.
Spain again finished 1-0-2 in 1966, defeating Switzerland but falling to Argentina and eventual runner-up West Germany.
1970
1974
Did Not Participate
With a 1-1-1 record, Spain narrowly missed the cut for the Second Round, placing third in its group. The results included a scoreless draw against the eventual third-place team, Brazil.
HOST
Spain hosted the 1982 World Cup with 17 venues spread across 14 cities. Just as it had four years earlier, the team finished 1-1-1 in the Group Stage. This time around, though, it was enough to advance to the Second Round, where the run ended. In the retrospective rankings, Spain ranked 16th.
After going 2-0-1 in the Group Stage, Spain defeated Denmark in the Round of 16 by a score of 5-1. The team then played Belgium to a 1-1 draw before losing 5-4 on penalties.
Spain won its group for the first time since 1950, defeating South Korea and Belgium, and drawing with Uruguay. Spain’s run in the Knockout Stage was brief, however, with the team losing 2-1 to Yugoslavia in the Round of 16.
A return trip to the Knockout Stage was more successful in 1994. Spain eliminated Switzerland, but lost to Italy in the Quarter-finals. Italy went on to finish as the tournament’s runner-up.
For the first time in 20 years, Spain failed to advance from the Group Stage. After losing to Nigeria, Spain played a scoreless draw with Paraguay and then handily defeated Bulgaria, but ultimately finished as the highest-ranked team to be eliminated in group play.
Only Brazil and Germany, with 11 goals each, topped Spain’s nine Group Stage scores. The offensive production resulted in a 3-0-0 record that advanced Spain to the Knockout Stage, where it defeated the Republic of Ireland before getting upset by South Korea.
Another outstanding Group Stage performance earned Spain a 3-0-0 record on the strength of a +7 goal difference. But the team’s title hopes were cut short with a 3-1 loss to France in the Round of 16.
FINISH
1st
After several dominant Group Stage showings that fizzled in the Knockout Stage, Spain finally broke through to claim its first World Cup championship. Each elimination game was decided by a score of 1-0, as Spain set a record for the fewest goals scored by a World Cup-winning team, with eight.
Spain’s title defense got off to a rocky start with a 5-1 loss to the Netherlands. The team was then shut out 2-0 by Chile before salvaging a 3-0 win against Australia.
A 9-1-0 record in its UEFA qualifying group secured Spain a spot in the 2018 World Cup. The country has participated in 11 consecutive World Cups.

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