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Spain vs Sweden facts: UEFA EURO 2020 match background, facts and stats

Spain and Sweden kick off their Group E campaigns in Bilbao, where the co-hosts have never lost in six previous matches.

Spain's Mikel Oyarzabal challenges Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen during qualifying in October 2019
Spain's Mikel Oyarzabal challenges Sweden goalkeeper Robin Olsen during qualifying in October 2019 Getty Images

Spain and Sweden have become regular UEFA European Championship rivals in the 21st century, and meet for the third time in UEFA EURO 2020 to kick off Group E in Bilbao, a city in which hosts Spain have not played for 54 years.

• Three-time winners Spain have reason for confidence at San Mamés Stadium having taken four points off Sweden in qualifying – three of them in a comfortable home win.

• Both teams have become EURO regulars in recent years but, while Spain have reached the knockout stage at the last three tournaments, winning two of them, Sweden have not progressed beyond the group stage since 2004.

Previous meetings

• Penalties from Sergio Ramos (64) and Álvaro Morata (85), and a first international goal for Mikel Oyarzabal (87) earned Spain a 3-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid on 10 June 2019 – Sweden's only qualifying defeat.

Highlights: Sweden 1-1 Spain
Highlights: Sweden 1-1 Spain

• Spain's three-match winning run against the Scandinavian side was ended in the Solna return on 15 October 2019, only a Rodrigo goal two minutes into added time rescuing a 1-1 draw after Marcus Berg's 50th-minute opener at the Friends Arena. The substitute's strike confirmed Spain's place at the final tournament; they went on to finish top of Group F unbeaten with 26 points, five more than the second-placed Swedes.

• Spain's victorious UEFA EURO 2008 campaign featured a group stage victory against Sweden, David Villa scoring a 92nd-minute winner in Innsbruck after Fernando Torres (15) and Zlatan Ibrahimović (34) had traded first-half goals; Villa's added-time strike took Luis Aragonés' side into the quarter-finals with a game to spare.

Watch Spain edge Sweden in 2008
Watch Spain edge Sweden in 2008

• Ramos also scored in a 3-0 Spain win in Madrid in UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying, after Sweden had won the first game in Solna 2-0; that is the Swedes' sole success in their last seven matches against Spain (D2 L4).

• Indeed, Sweden have beaten Spain only three times – and only once in Spain, a 3-1 friendly win in Salamanca in June 1988. They have conceded ten goals without scoring in losing their three subsequent matches away to Spain, where their record is W1 D1 L4.

• Sweden's only draw away to Spain came in Bilbao, in a friendly international on 8 November 1953, 2-2 the final score after the visitors had led 2-1.

• The sides have a victory apiece from their two meetings in the FIFA World Cup group stage, Sweden winning 3-1 in Sao Paulo at the 1950 tournament and Spain prevailing 1-0 in Buenos Aires 28 years later.

EURO facts: Spain

• This is Spain's seventh consecutive EURO. Champions in 1964, they were also victorious in 2008 and 2012 to become the first side to retain the Henri Delaunay trophy.

EURO 1964 final highlights: Spain 2-1 USSR
EURO 1964 final highlights: Spain 2-1 USSR

• Spain's defence of the trophy was ended by Italy in the round of 16 at UEFA EURO 2016, the Azzurri running out 2-0 winners.

• A 2-1 loss to Croatia on Matchday 3 at UEFA EURO 2016 – a result that meant Vicente del Bosque's side finished second behind their opponents in Group D – ended Spain's sequence of 14 EURO finals matches without defeat (W11 D3), stretching back to a 1-0 reversal against Portugal at UEFA EURO 2004; prior to Croatia, they had not conceded in seven EURO finals fixtures, since a 1-1 draw with Italy in 2012.

• Spain and Germany/West Germany are the most successful EURO teams having won three editions each.

• Spain qualified for UEFA EURO 2020 by winning eight and drawing two of their ten qualifiers.

• The three-time champions are one of five sides who did not lose a game in the UEFA EURO 2020 preliminaries, along with Belgium, Italy – who both won all their fixtures – Denmark and Ukraine.

Highlights: See how Spain won UEFA EURO 2012
Highlights: See how Spain won UEFA EURO 2012

• Spain had more shots (227), possession (70%) and completed a greater percentage of their passes (91%) than any other team in qualifying.

• Spain have never lost in Bilbao, although this is their first game there since a 2-0 UEFA European Championship qualifying defeat of Turkey in May 1967. Their overall record at the old San Mamés was W3 D3.

EURO facts: Sweden

• Sweden are competing at their sixth successive EURO finals, and their seventh in total. They have not made it through the group stage since reaching the quarter-finals of UEFA EURO 2004.

• Four years ago, Erik Hamrén's side finished bottom of Group E with one point from three matches. Having opened with a 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland, the Swedes lost 1-0 to both Italy and Belgium.

Sweden v Netherlands: The full EURO 2004 shoot-out
Sweden v Netherlands: The full EURO 2004 shoot-out

• A 2-0 defeat of France on Matchday 3 of UEFA EURO 2012 is Sweden's only victory in their last eight EURO finals matches (D1 L6).

• Sweden's greatest feat to date is reaching, as hosts, the 1958 World Cup final, which they lost 5-2 to Brazil. In their best EURO campaign they progressed to the last four of the 1992 edition, again as hosts, succumbing 3-2 to Germany.

• Jan Andersson's team secured their place at UEFA EURO 2020 as runners-up to Spain in qualifying Group F, picking up 21 points from their ten matches (W6 D3 L1). Having lost 3-0 to Spain in their fourth qualifier, a result that equalled their biggest margin of defeat in a EURO game, Sweden won four of their next six matches (D2) to finish four points clear of third-placed Norway.

• That 1953 draw against Spain is Sweden's only previous match in Bilbao.

• Aside from their six games against Spain, Sweden have played two other matches in the country; a 1-0 win against Denmark and a 1-1 draw with Norway, both friendlies in La Manga in early 2000.

Watch Sweden beat Denmark at EURO ‘92
Watch Sweden beat Denmark at EURO ‘92

Links and trivia

• Have played together:
David de Gea & Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United 2017–)
Diego Llorente, Mikel Oyarzabal & Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad 2019–)
Iago Aspas & John Guidetti (Celta Vigo 2015–18)
Álvaro Morata & Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus 2020–)

• Pau López joined Roma in July 2019, with Robin Olsen departing on loan for Cagliari the following month.

• Have played in Spain:
Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad 2019–)
John Guidetti (Celta Vigo 2015–18, Alavés 2018–)

• Marcus Berg scored a penalty to put Krasnodar 2-0 up away to Sevilla in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League group stage. However, despite Jesús Navas's red card, the Spanish club fought back to win 3-2.

• Koke scored against Malmö for Atlético de Madrid home (5-0) and away (2-0) in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage, with Olsen in goal and Emil Forsberg in midfield for the Swedish side.