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

Spain have won eight of their ten fixtures against Poland, including a 6-0 success in the most recent back in 2010.

Spain defender Carles Puyol vies with Poland's Robert Lewandowski during a friendly in June 2010
Spain defender Carles Puyol vies with Poland's Robert Lewandowski during a friendly in June 2010 AFP via Getty Images

Spain and Poland meet in a competitive international for the first time since 1959 in the second round of Group E games at the Estadio La Cartuja, with the sides' previous fixtures suggesting a tough evening for the visitors in Seville.

• Spain drew a blank at La Cartuja on Matchday 1, when they were unable to find a way through Sweden's defence and had to settle for a 0-0 draw. That gives them one more point than Poland, who went down 2-1 to Slovakia in Saint Petersburg in their first fixture; Wojciech Szczęsny's 18th-minute own goal was cancelled out by Karol Linetty a minute into the second period, but Grzegorz Krychowiak was then dismissed for a second booking before Slovakia struck again to claim the points.

Previous meetings

• Eight of the sides' ten contests to date have ended in Spanish victories – including a 6-0 triumph in the most recent, a Murcia friendly on 8 June 2010 that served as the final warm-up for Vicente del Bosque's side before their FIFA World Cup triumph in South Africa. Sergio Busquets started that game for Spain, with Kamil Glik, Robert Lewandowski and Maciej Rybus featuring for the visitors.

• That made it three successive Spain wins against Poland, since a 1-1 draw in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in February 1994. That match was a friendly, as all the last eight fixtures between the teams have been.

• Poland's sole success against Spain came in the teams' first friendly, a 2-1 victory at at the Estadio de Sarriá in Barcelona in November 1980. Andrzej Iwan scored twice, including an 89th-minute winner 60 seconds after a Dani penalty had levelled for the hosts; Zbigniew Boniek, the current president of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), also played in that match and would go on to star in the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain, scoring four goals as Poland finished third.

• The teams have been involved in only two previous competitive fixtures, in qualifying for the inaugural 1960 UEFA European Championship. Alfredo Di Stéfano and Luis Suárez both scored twice in a 4-2 Spain win in Chorzów on 28 June 1959, Di Stéfano also finding the net as Spain won 3-0 in Madrid four months 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 to finish on 26 points in Group F, five above second-placed Sweden – who are also in Group E at the final tournament.

• 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.

Great Spain goals
Great Spain goals

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

• After the Matchday 1 game against Sweden, this is Spain's ninth 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. The draw against Sweden made their record at the stadium W4 D1 L2; they had won three successive games there, including a 6-0 UEFA Nations League defeat of Germany on 17 November 2020, before being held by the Swedes.

• Spain's overall record in Seville is now W39 D6 L4.

EURO facts: Poland

• Poland are appearing at their fourth straight EURO final tournament; prior to UEFA EURO 2016 they had never won a finals match (D3 L3).

• Four years ago, however, they advanced to the last eight for the first time and bowed out without losing a game in regulation play as they were eliminated by eventual champions Portugal on penalties in the quarter-finals (1-1, 3-5 pens). With that game counted as a draw, Poland's record in France was W2 D3.

• A team led by former coach Jerzy Brzęczek finished six points clear at the top of Group G to book their place at UEFA EURO 2020, winning eight of their ten qualifiers (D1 L1) including the last four.

• The Matchday 1 defeat by Slovakia was only Poland's second loss in their last 19 EURO matches (W12 D5).

• Poland's greatest achievements on the international stage were taking bronze at the 1974 and 1982 World Cups, the latter tournament in Spain where their record was W3 D3 L1.

• Aside from their seven away games against Spain (W1 D1 L5), Poland have lost only once in eight other official matches in the country (W4 D3), a 2-0 defeat by Italy in the 1982 World Cup semi-final. This is their first game in Seville.

Great EURO Matchday 2 goals
Great EURO Matchday 2 goals

Links and trivia

• Have played together:
Fabián Ruiz & Piotr Zieliński (Napoli 2018–)
Álvaro Morata & Wojciech Szczęsny (Juventus 2020–)Diego Llorente & Mateusz Klich (Leeds 2020–)
Thiago Alcántara & Robert Lewandowski (Bayern München 2014–20)

• Has played in Spain:
Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla 2014–16)

• Kamil Glik spent time in the youth ranks at Spanish lower-league side Horadada in 2006, and was at Real Madrid C between 2007 and 2008.

• Lewandowski scored four times as Borussia Dortmund beat Real Madrid 4-1 in the first leg of the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League semi-final. Eleven of Lewandowski's 72 UEFA Champions League goals have been scored against Spanish clubs – the most against any nation – though only one of those, a penalty against Madrid in the 2016/17 quarter-final, came in Spain, where he has drawn a blank on his other eight visits in the competition.

Latest news

Koke rues Spain missed chances
Koke rues Spain missed chances

Spain

• 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, missing from a Spain tournament squad for the first time since he made his international debut in 2005.

• The goalless draw against Sweden was the second in succession for Spain under Enrique's charge following a stalemate against Portugal in Madrid on 4 June, in which newly naturalised defender Aymeric Laporte made his debut. Spain's pre-tournament preparations were hit by illness in the camp, which meant that a second scheduled friendly, against Lithuania in Leganés, was played – and won 4-0 – by Spain's Under-21 side, with Luis de la Fuente as coach.

• In Ramos's absence, Barcelona's Sergio Busquets has taken over the captaincy. The 122-cap midfielder – who missed the game against Sweden – is one of only three players in the squad who came into the tournament with 50 or more caps, the others being Jordi Alba – the stand-in skipper against the Swedes, now on 73 appearances – 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).

• Only one of the 17 major tournament debutants in the squad has over 20 international caps to his name – Rodri, with 21 – and one of them, goalkeeper Robert Sánchez, has 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, teenager Pedri 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.

• Pedri became the youngest Spanish player to appear in a EURO final tournament match when he started the game against Sweden aged 18 years and 201 days.

Watch Lewandowski pre-match keepy-uppies
Watch Lewandowski pre-match keepy-uppies

Poland

• Poland's opening defeat by Slovakia means they are now on a run of four games without a win and with just one victory in eight matches – 3-0 at home to Andorra in a March FIFA World Cup qualifier. They drew both of their pre-UEFA EURO 2020 friendlies, in Wrocław against Russia (1-1) and in Poznań against Iceland (2-2).

• Jakub Świerczok scored his first international goal in the draw against Russia, with Piotr Zieliński and Karol Świderski finding the net against Iceland, the latter with an 88th-minute equaliser. Tymoteusz Puchacz made his international debut in the first game and set up Zieliński's goal in the second.

• Karol Linetty's equalising goal against Slovakia was only his third for Poland in 33 appearances and his second in a competitive international after finding the net in a 3-0 UEFA Nations League win in Warsaw against Bosnia and Herzegovina last October.

• Poland's record cap holder and goalscorer Robert Lewandowski returned after a two-game absence to captain the team against Iceland and make his first appearance in a friendly international since November 2018. Apart from Linetty he is the only player in Poland's UEFA EURO 2020 squad to have scored at the EURO finals, having managed one in each of the last two tournaments – against Greece in the 2012 opening match and eventual winners Portugal in the 2016 quarter-final.

• Although Lewandowski has scored 66 goals in 120 internationals, the second highest number after Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (106 goals) of any UEFA EURO 2020 participant, those are his only two goals in 12 appearances at final tournaments. He did not score in Poland's three matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where the goals were provided by Grzegorz Krychowiak and Jan Bednarek, both fellow UEFA EURO 2020 squad members.

• Lewandowski is one of three players competing for Poland at a third successive EURO final tournament, together with Wojciech Szczęsny and Maciej Rybus, while Łukasz Fabiański, who played in 2016 but missed out in 2012, was a non-playing squad member back in 2008. The other survivors from 2016 are Krychowiak, Linetty, Zieliński and Kamil Glik.

• Arkadiusz Milik, another veteran of UEFA EURO 2016, was originally selected to wear the No7 shirt at this tournament but was withdrawn through injury and not replaced, leaving Poland with 25 players.

• Lewandowski scored a Bundesliga record tally of 41 goals to help Bayern München become German champions for the ninth successive year in 2020/21. The only other title winner from the season just ended in Poland's squad was Tomasz Kędziora, who captured the double in Ukraine with Dynamo Kyiv, while domestic cups were won in Russia by Krychowiak and Rybus of Lokomotiv Moskva and in Greece by Świderski of PAOK.

• Following his red card against Slovakia, the first shown at UEFA EURO 2020, Krychowiak is suspended for this game in Seville, where he played for local club Sevilla in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, winning the UEFA Europa League in each campaign.