Euro 2016: Why the Georgia Loss Shouldn’t Write Off Spain

It seems like before every major tournament, Spain have a plethora of talent to pick from. Euro 2016 is no different. Spain is so spoilt with talent that they could afford to leave out players like Isco, Santi Cazorla, Javi Martinez and Saúl Ñíguez, who broke into prominence with Atletico Madrid.

Even though they couldn’t overcome Georgia, who are 131 countries below them in the FIFA ranking, I think a third consecutive European Cup win wouldn’t be beyond the reigning European Champions.

Of course I say this without the benefit of hindsight, so don’t bet on it.


Excellent squad depth

Spain has at least 2 or 3 established players in every position, bringing in new blood like Mikel San Jose, Hector Bellerin, Bruno Soriano, Lucas Vazquez, Nolito and Aritz Aduriz.

Spain didn’t call up Mario Gaspar, who was excellent with Villarreal and had to let go of Dani Carvajal due to injury.

Despite this, they still had excellent fullbacks like Juanfran, Jordi Alba, Cesar Azpilicueta and Hector Bellerin at their disposal. Other Spanish midfielders who got snubbed were Santi Cazorla and Juan Mata, both excellent technical maestros on the ball.


Great mix of experience and youth

Their line-up has a perfect mix of experience and youth, with young players like Hector Bellerin, Alvaro Morata, Marc Bartra and Koke together with veterans like Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, David Silva and Andres Iniesta in the squad with at least Ramos and Iniesta being the first names to get on the starting XI.

It will also most likely be the international swansong for Casillas, Silva and Iniesta.

According to OptaJoe on Twitter, “Spain have the most experienced 23-man squad at Euro 2016 with 996 caps overall between them. The experience will come in handy on the tough road to a third consecutive Euro win.”


Consistent playing style

With a consistent identity and the right players with the technical ability to dazzle and dominate, Spain has what it takes to reinforce their dominance in world football and I wouldn’t bet against them going far in this edition of the Euros.


My predicted line-up for La Roja is as follows (4-5-1):

De Gea – Azpilicueta, Ramos, Pique, Jordi Alba – Busquets, Iniesta, Thiago, Koke, David Silva – Morata


Written by Ian Leong

Follow Ian on Twitter @IanLeong93

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