Spain World Cup 2023 fixtures:
How did Spain qualify?
Spain qualified by finishing top of UEFA Group B. They won all eight matches, against Scotland, Ukraine, Hungary and Faroe Islands, scoring 53 goals and conceding zero.
Spain’s major tournament record:
Best World Cup result: Round of 16- 2019.
Best European Championships result: Semi-finals- 1997.
Spain at World Cup 2023
Spain’s major tournament record is modest at best, but they travel Down Under among the favourites to lift the trophy.
Expectations have been exponentially raised by Barcelona Femení's recent success, reaching four of the last five Champions League Finals, winning two of them, with nine Spaniards featuring in the 2023 final win.
So, at last summer’s European Championships, la Roja traveled to England as many people’s red-hot favourites to go all the way.
They did beat Finland and Denmark in the group phase, but suffered a serious reality check at the hands of the Germans, comprehensively beaten 2-0 at the Brentford Community Stadium that night.
This would prove costly, because it meant Spain met the hosts in the quarter-finals and, despite taking the lead through Esther González, England roared back and won 2-1 in Brighton, shattering Spain’s dreams.
La Roja have still never won a knockout match at a major tournament, going out in the quarter-finals at each of the last three Euros.
Here, this’ll be Spain’s third successive appearance at the World Cup, debuting in 2015.
Back then, they crashed out in the group stages with just one point before, in France four summers ago, claiming their maiden World Cup victory, defeating South Africa 3-1 in Le Havre.
A goalless draw with China PR nine days later saw them reach the round of 16 for the very first time, although they got no further, edged-out 2-1 by world champions USA at Stade Auguste-Delaune.
This year, la Roja kick off their World Cup campaign against Costa Rica, before taking on Zambia in Auckland and then Japan at Wellington Regional Stadium
Spain should easily win those first two matches, the third will be substantially tricker, and if any team has learnt the value of topping your group in recent years, it’s la Roja.
Spain team news
To say a lot has been going on with the Spanish women’s national team in the last 12 months would be an understatement.
In September, 15 key players, known as Las 15, wrote a joint letter to the RFEF asking to no longer be called up for national team duty until conditions improved, including removing Head Coach Jorge Vilda.
The federation leaked this to the Spanish press which, as you can imagine, didn’t help relations much.
This has been a tense situation all season long, but at least half of the 15 are expected to be called up for this tournament, although goalkeeper Sandra Paños was surprisingly left out of the preliminary squad completely.
This though is obviously a far from ideal situation, so surely can’t be conducive to success.
Spain′s key players: Irene Paredes
The captain hoping to be hoisting the World Cup trophy aloft on 20 July is centre-back Irene Paredes.
The 31 year old has 90 caps to her name, scoring an impressive 11 times, including bagging the equaliser in a comeback win against Finland at Stadium MK at last summer’s Euros.
At club level, having lifted trophies with Athletic Club and PSG, Paredes joined Barcelona two summers ago, subsequently winning six major titles, including her first Champions League in early-June.
She made 37 appearances for Barça this season, including all 11 in the Champions League, and is a stalwart at the back for both club and country.
Spain′s key players: Aitana Bonmatí
On of the ‘Las 15′ who’s World Cup participation has been in doubt is Aitana Bonmatí, but Spain fans are desperate for their star midfield to be available.
Bonmatí has 46 caps to her name, scoring 16 times, despite the fact she hasn’t put on a la Roja shirt since they crashed out of Euro 2022 at the quarter-final stage.
The 25 year old has spent her entire career Barcelona, joining La Masia at the age of 13, winning a whopping 14 major honours with the Catalan giants, playing a staring role in this season’s Champions League Final.
If Spain have any chance of doing some damage Down Under, they need Bonmatí, first and foremost, back in the team, but also at her brilliant best.
Spain′s key players: Alexia Putellas
One player absolutely desperate not to spend any more time on the sidelines is Alexia Putellas.
She is widely considered to be the best player on the planet, winning back-to-back Ballon d’Or Féminin awards in the last two years, the only player to have been given the accolade on multiple occasions.
However, last summer, the night before Spain’s Euro 2022 opener, Putellas ruptured her ACL in training, an injury that ruled her out of the tournament and sidelined her for ten months in total.
Back on 30 April, she made her long-awaited return for Barcelona, coming on as a substitute against Sporting de Huelva in a Liga F fixture.
In total, Alexia featured in Barça’s last seven matches of this season, including coming off the bench right at the end of the Champions League Final victory over Wolfsburg.
If she is ready to go, Putellas massively raises the levels this team can reach, having scored 29 goals in 100 national team caps to date, with her sole major tournament goal, to date coming at Euro 2013, which was her very first at senior level.
Spain′s possible starting line-up for World Cup 2023
Spain′s full squad for World Cup 2023
|Misa Rodríguez||12||0||Real Madrid|
|Ivana Andrés||46||0||Real Madrid|
|Ona Batlle||28||0||Manchester United|
|Olga Carmona||22||1||Real Madrid|
|Rocío Gálvez||8||0||Real Madrid|
|Oihane Hernández||7||0||Athletic Club Bilbao|
|Irene Guerrero||22||4||Atlético Madrid|
|Teresa Abelleira||14||1||Real Madrid|
|Claudia Zornoza||10||0||Real Madrid|
|Esther González||35||23||Real Madrid|
|Athenea del Castillo||25||6||Real Madrid|
|Eva Navarro||8||2||Atlético Madrid|