Spain and Sweden kick off their Group E campaigns in Seville.
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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 Seville.
• Three-time winners Spain have reason for confidence at at the Estadio La Cartuja 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 São 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.
• 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.
• Spain had more shots (227), possession (70%) and completed a greater percentage of their passes (91%) than any other team in qualifying.
• This is Spain's eighth game at the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville, where they beat Kosovo 3-1 in 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying on 31 March thanks to goals from Dani Olmo, Ferran Torres and Gerard Moreno. That made their record at the stadium W4 L2; they have won their last three games there, including a 6-0 UEFA Nations League defeat of Germany on 17 November 2020.
• Spain's overall record in Seville is W39 D5 L4.
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.
• 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, before 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.
• Sweden have played in Seville only once previously, losing 3-1 to Spain in a February 1968 friendly played at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.
• 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.
Links and trivia
• Have played together:
David de Gea & Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United 2017–)
Mikel Oyarzabal & Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad 2019–)
Diego Llorente & Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad 2019–20)
Álvaro Morata & Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus 2020–)
• Has played in Spain:
Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad 2019–)
• 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 going down to ten men, 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 Robin Olsen in goal and Emil Forsberg in midfield for the Swedish side.
• Gerard Moreno and Pau Torres were in the Villarreal side that defeated Victor Lindelöf's Manchester United on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the 2021 UEFA Europa League final, Moreno breaking clear of the Swedish defender to open the scoring in Gdańsk.
• Spain coach Luis Enrique opted to select only 24 players, rather than the permitted 26, for his UEFA EURO 2020 squad. There are no Real Madrid players in the party, with regular captain Sergio Ramos, who started nine of the ten qualifiers and scored four goals, ruled out through injury.
• A 0-0 draw against Portugal in Madrid on 4 June, in which newly naturalised defender Aymeric Laporte made his debut, began Spain's pre-tournament preparations, but illness in the camp meant that a second friendly, against Lithuania in Leganés, was played by Spain's Under-21 side, which they won 4-0.
• In Ramos's absence, Barcelona's Sergio Busquets has taken over the captaincy. The 122-cap midfielder is one of only three players in the squad who come into the tournament with 50 or more caps, the others being Jordi Alba (72) and Koke, who reached his half-century against Portugal.
• Aside from Busquets and Alba, both veterans of the 2012 and 2016 EUROs as well as multiple FIFA World Cups, only five other players in this squad have previous tournament experience – David de Gea, César Azpilicueta, Koke, Thiago Alcántara and Álvaro Morata, all of whom played five years ago in France.
• Morata, with three goals scored at UEFA EURO 2016, is the only player in Luis Enrique's squad other than Alba – on target in the 2012 final win against Italy – to have found the net at a major tournament. He is also the only Spain squad member with an international goal tally in double figures (18).
• None of the 17 major tournament debutants in the squad has over 20 international caps to his name, with one of them, goalkeeper Robert Sánchez, yet to make his debut.
• Two of those number – Pau Torres and Gerard Moreno – were UEFA Europa League winners with Villarreal in 2020/21, beating De Gea's Manchester United on penalties in the final, while Spanish champions Atlético de Madrid are also represented in the squad by two players – Koke and Marcos Llorente. English Premier League winners Manchester City have more players included, four, than any other club – Ferran Torres, Eric García, Rodri and Laporte – while there are three from Copa del Rey winners Barcelona, 18-year-old Pedri, the youngest player in the squad, joining his two 32-year-old club colleagues Busquets and Alba.
• Domestic cups were also won in 2020/21 by Morata in Italy (Juventus) and Pablo Sarabia in France (Paris Saint-Germain), while Azpilicueta lifted the most prestigious club trophy of them all as he captained Chelsea to victory in the UEFA Champions League.
• Gerard Moreno was the joint top scorer in the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League with seven goals and also notched 23 in the Spanish Liga, a figure bettered only by Lionel Messi, with 30 for Barcelona.
• Sweden were dealt a considerable blow in their countdown to UEFA EURO 2020 when record scorer Zlatan Ibrahimović, who had returned to the national team in March for the first time since UEFA EURO 2016, was ruled out through injury.
• Nevertheless, Jan Andersson's side made it five wins in a row by defeating both Finland (2-0) and Armenia (3-1) in their two pre-tournament friendlies in Solna. Robin Quaison and Sebastian Larsson (penalty) were on target in the first game, with Emil Forsberg, Marcus Danielson and Marcus Berg finding the net in the second.
• Larsson's goal was his tenth for Sweden and in Ibrahimović's absence he is the only player in the UEFA EURO 2020 squad to have previously scored at a EURO final tournament, his one goal having sealed a 2-0 win over France at UEFA EURO 2012. That was the last goal scored by any Swedish player at the EURO finals, their only strike five years ago in France having been an own goal.
• Larsson is one of ten players in the 2016 squad who have been retained for UEFA EURO 2020, the others being Forsberg, Berg, Andreas Granqvist, Mikael Lustig, Victor Lindelöf, Albin Ekdal, Robin Olsen, Ludwig Augustinsson and Pontus Jansson, though the last three did not make it on to the field of play in France.
• Granqvist, who has not played for Sweden since November 2019, has been restored to the squad as captain. He and Lustig were participants alongside Larsson at UEFA EURO 2012.
• Granqvist scored two penalties in Sweden's run to the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Augustinsson and Forsberg also found the net in Russia with their first tournament goals.
• Filip Helander of Scottish champions Rangers is the only 2020/21 league title winner in Sweden's squad, while Dejan Kulsevski is the sole domestic cup winner from the season just concluded, having helped Juventus to their Coppa Italia success with the opening goal in the final against Atalanta (2-1).
• Alexander Isak was also a winner of the delayed 2019/20 Copa del Rey final with Real Sociedad as they defeated Basque rivals Athletic Club 1-0 on 3 April 2021 in the Estadio La Cartuja. Isak was the sixth highest scorer in the 2020/21 Liga, scoring 17 goals for La Real.
• Jordan Larsson, son of Sweden legend Henrik, was the third top scorer in the 2020/21 Russian Premier League with 15 goals for runners-up Spartak Moskva. Only Artem Dzyuba (20) and Sardar Azmoun (19) of champions Zenit scored more.
• Seven members of Sweden's squad played in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League – Lindelöf for Manchester United, Kulusevski for Juve, Forsberg for Leipzig, Jens Cajuste for Midtjylland and the Krasnodar trio of Berg, Kristoffer Olsson and Viktor Claesson.Download the EURO 2020 app!