Spain team profile

After decades of underachievement following a UEFA European Championship triumph on home soil in 1964, Spain became world football's dominant force from 2008 to 2012.

Iker Casillas (Spain)

Best result: winners 1964, 2008, 2012
Coach: Vicente del Bosque
Leading scorer: 
all-time – David Villa (59); current –  David Silva (23)
Most appearances: all-time – Iker Casillas (165); current – Iker Casillas (165)
Association formed: 1909
Nickname: La Roja (the Reds)
Where they play: Various

After decades of underachievement following a UEFA European Championship triumph on home soil in 1964, Spain suddenly became world football's dominant force. UEFA EURO 2008, which they won with a 1-0 final victory over Germany, was followed by a first FIFA World Cup win two years later, in South Africa, Vicente del Bosque's side becoming the first European nation to lift the trophy outside their own continent.

Further history was made at UEFA EURO 2012 as Spain became the first team to retain the European title after overwhelming Italy 4-0 in Kyiv, although their World Cup defence ended in the group stage two years later. They are back to defend the Henri Delaunay Cup in France after topping their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying group with 27 points out of a possible 30.

EURO pedigree
Matches played
Overall: P151 W98 D27 L26 F333 A118
Final tournament: P36 W17 D11 L8 F50 A32
Qualifying: P115 W81 D16 L18 F283 A86

Spain's long wait for silverware ended in Vienna in 2008 as Luis Aragonés's side defeated Germany to win a competition they had taken by storm. Fernando Torres provided the decisive blow and four years later became the first player to score in two EURO finals as Spain, now under Del Bosque, successfully defended their title.

They had become only the fifth team to complete a EURO qualifying campaign with a perfect record and crowned another memorable campaign with a record final win against Italy thanks to goals from David Silva, Jordi Alba, Torres and Juan Mata.

Prior to 2008 Spain had only once even reached the semi-finals – finishing runners-up in 1984 – since claiming their first major prize on home soil in Madrid in 1964. They won that year's final 2-1 against the Soviet Union at the Santiago Bernabéu. Marcelino Martínez headed a memorable winner six minutes from time after Galimzian Khusainov had quickly cancelled out Jesús María Pereda's sixth-minute opener.

Memorable EURO matches
01/07/2012: Spain 4-0 Italy, UEFA EURO 2012 final

La Roja answered their critics in style, a record final win completing the first successful trophy defence.

29/06/2008: Spain 1-0 Germany, UEFA EURO 2008 final
Torres' strike was enough in Vienna as Spain's 44-year wait for silverware came to an end.

21/06/1964: Spain 2-1 Soviet Union, 1964 UEFA European Championship final
Luis Suárez inspired a Spain team largely shorn of stars to victory over the holders.

Did you know?
Defeat in Slovakia in October 2014 ended Spain's 36-match, eight-year unbeaten run in UEFA EURO and World Cup qualifying fixtures stretching back to a 2-0 loss in Sweden on 7 October 2006.

*Last updated on 18/11/15