Despite dominating international football for the past six years, Spain don’t actually have that many World Cup memories to call on having built a long-standing reputation as bottle jobs prior to their 2010 World Cup win.
Vicente del Bosque’s side are 13/2 to win a consecutive World Cup in Brazil this summer and will likely call on the experiences of some of the below moments when bidding to defend their crown:
Casillas puts on 2010 master class
Spain’s landmark victory in South Africa four years ago didn’t come without the odd hairy moment. Goals weren’t free-flowing for La Roja during the tournament and after losing their first group game to Chile, their participation was under threat.
If it wasn’t for Real Madrid icon Iker Casillas, the World Cup win may never have happened.
He made crucial stops at various points of the route to glory, including a penalty save at 0-0 against Paraguay in the quarter finals and a one-on-one denial of Arjen Robben in the final.
Casillas keept a clean sheet in all of Spain’s final four games, all of which saw Spain win 1-0.
Emilio Butragueno’s Denmark demolition
A deadly goal scorer for Real Madrid, Butragueno notched on his international debut against Wales in 1984 but had only registered another five times before the 1986 World Cup in Mexico kicked off.
He would explode into life during the tournament though, with his blitz against strongly-fancied Denmark, in which he scored four of Spain’s five goals, the catalyst.
Butragueno ended up being the tournament’s second top-scorer although his team could only reach the quarter-finals before crashing out.
Beauty overcomes brutality
Considering the creators of Total Football were facing Del Bosque’s possession-loving Spaniards, the 2010 final wasn’t supposed to unfold the way it did.
Holland took to kicking lumps out of their opponents as a means of overcoming them and only three members of the Oranje avoided a booking.
Eventually, the Spaniards prevailed thanks to an Andres Iniesta strike four minutes before a dreaded penalty shootout, sparking wild celebrations.
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