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

Slovakia travel to Seville to take on Spain in the final round of matches in Group E.

 Spain and Slovakia met in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying
Spain and Slovakia met in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Getty Images

Slovakia travel to Seville to take on Spain in the final round of UEFA EURO 2020 Group E games.

• Both sides' UEFA EURO 2016 campaigns ended in the round of 16, Slovakia bowing out at the hands of Germany while Spain – who have reached every final tournament since EURO '96 and last missed out on the knockout stages in 2004 – were eliminated by Italy.

• Slovakia are second in Group E on three points, one behind Sweden and one above Spain, who have drawn with Sweden (0-0) and Poland (1-1). Slovakia beat Poland 2-1 in their opening fixture but went down 1-0 against Sweden in their second.

• Slovakia need a point to be certain of going through and will top the group if they win and Sweden do not beat Poland on Matchday 3. Spain will go through if they beat Slovakia. They will also go through if they draw and Poland do not beat Sweden.

Previous meetings

• All six of Slovakia's games against Spain have been competitive fixtures. They last met in qualifying for UEFA EURO 2016, Spain running out 2-0 winners in Oviedo on 5 September 2015 thanks to first-half goals from Jordi Alba (5) and Andrés Iniesta (30 pen).

• Goals from Juraj Kucka (17) and Miroslav Stoch (87) had given Slovakia a famous 2-1 success in Žilina on 9 October 2014, their sole victory against Spain and a result that ended their opponents' sequence of 37 UEFA European Championship and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches without defeat, a run stretching back to 2006.

Highlights: Watch Slovakia stun Spain in qualifying

• The teams were first paired together in qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, Spain winning 4-1 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and 2-1 in Bratislava on their way to reaching the final tournament in France.

• It was a similar story in the play-offs for the 2006 World Cup, a Luis García hat-trick helping Spain to a 5-1 first-leg win at the Vicente Calderón in Madrid before a 1-1 draw in Bratislava.

• Spain and Czechoslovakia met in four EURO qualifying matches, the home side prevailing on each occasion. Holders Spain lost 1-0 in Prague on 1 October 1967 but a 2-1 victory in Madrid three weeks later ensured their qualification for the 1968 tournament; in the 1992 preliminaries, Czechoslovakia prevailed 3-2 in Prague before a 2-1 Spanish success at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in Seville, but neither side reached the finals after finishing behind France.

Highlights: Spain 2-0 Slovakia

• An 80th-minute Jozef Štibrányi goal gave eventual runners-up Czechoslovakia a 1-0 win against Spain at the 1962 World Cup in Chile, the sides' only meeting at a final tournament.

EURO facts: Slovakia

• Slovakia are making their second successive EURO appearance after their debut at UEFA EURO 2016, where a side coached by Ján Kozák finished third in Group B behind Wales and England on four points before losing 3-0 to Germany in the round of 16.

• Slovakia's record in EURO finals is now W2 D1 L3 – the victories a 2-1 defeat of Russia on Matchday 2 in 2016, Marek Hamšík scoring the decisive goal, and the Matchday 1 win against Poland at these finals in which Milan Škriniar got the winner.

• Slovakia's UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying campaign began under coach Pavel Hapal, who oversaw their third-placed finish in Group E on 13 points from eight games (W4 D1 L3), behind Croatia (17 points) and Wales (14) but ahead of Hungary (12) – all three of their rivals also qualifying for the final tournament – and Azerbaijan (1).

• Third in their UEFA Nations League group in 2018/19 behind Ukraine and the Czech Republic, Slovakia therefore qualified for the UEFA EURO 2020 play-offs, Hapal overseeing a 4-2 win on penalties against the Republic of Ireland after their semi-final in Bratislava had finished goalless.

• Hapal left his post before the play-off final, Štefan Tarkovič overseeing a 2-1 extra-time win away to Northern Ireland in which Michal Ďuriš scored the goal that secured a place at UEFA EURO 2020.

Highlights: Northern Ireland 1-2 Slovakia (AET)

• The defeat by Sweden last time out ended Slovakia's four-match unbeaten run in EURO matches (W3 D1); a 3-1 loss in Croatia on 16 November 2019 is their only other reverse in eight games (W4 D2).

• While Slovakia had never competed at a UEFA European Championship as an independent nation before 2016, as part of Czechoslovakia they figured in two four-team final tournaments plus, in 1980, the first eight-team event.

• Czechoslovakia finished third in 1960 and 1980 and lifted the trophy in 1976. Eight of the 11 players who started the '76 final against West Germany – and triumphed on penalties after a 2-2 draw – hailed from Slovakia.

• Slovakia have lost all three away games against Spain although they did draw their only other fixture in the country, a February 2007 friendly against Poland in Jerez finishing 2-2 with first-half goals from Martin Jakubko and Martin Škrtel having given them a two-goal lead.

• This is Slovakia's first game in Seville.

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.

Great Spain goals

• 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.

2008 final highlights: Spain’s golden night

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

• After the UEFA EURO 2020 draws against Sweden and Poland, this is Spain's tenth 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. Their record at the stadium is now W4 D2 L2; they had won their last three pre-EURO games there, including a 6-0 UEFA Nations League defeat of Germany on 17 November 2020.

• Spain's overall record in Seville is now W39 D7 L4.

Great EURO Matchday 3 goals

Links and trivia

• Have played in Spain:
Martin Valjent (Mallorca 2018–)
Stanislav Lobotka (Celta Vigo 2017–20)
Vladimír Weiss (Espanyol 2011/12 loan)
Denis Vavro (Huesca 2021 loan)

• Have played together:
Stanislav Lobotka & Fabián Ruiz (Napoli 2020–)
Marek Hamšik & Fabián Ruiz (Napoli 2018/19)

• Lobotka was in the Napoli side that beat Real Sociedad 1-0 in San Sebastián on Matchday 2 of the 2020/21 UEFA Europa League, with Mikel Oyarzabal in the Spanish club's starting XI.

Latest news

Slovakia get a feel of St. Petersburg pitch


• Slovakia's defeat by Sweden last time out was their first in 2021, ending a six-match unbeaten run, although the 2-1 success against Poland on Matchday 1 was one of only two wins this year, the other coming at home to Russia (2-1) in a World Cup qualifier on 30 March.

• Slovakia's two warm-up games for this tournament both ended in draws – 1-1 against Bulgaria and 0-0 away to Austria. László Bénes scored against Bulgaria – his first goal at international level – and that game also heralded the return to the team of winger Vladimír Weiss, a 2020/21 Slovakian double winner with Slovan Bratislava, after an absence of almost three years.

• Weiss is one of five veterans of Slovakia's 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa still representing the country at UEFA EURO 2020, the others being Peter Pekarík, Juraj Kucka, Dušan Kuciak and captain Marek Hamšík.

• Weiss and Hamšík were both scorers at UEFA EURO 2016, where Pekarík and Kucka were also present – as were other current squad members Tomáš Hubočan, Milan Škriniar, Ján Greguš, Patrik Hrošovský, Róbert Mak, Michal Ďuriš and another goalscorer in France, Ondrej Duda.

• Hamšík, the country's record cap holder (128) and goalscorer (26), is also the Slovakian with most appearances (42) and goals (11) in EURO matches, qualifiers included. No player from the country, including those who represented Czechoslovakia, has ever managed more than one goal at a EURO final tournament, Škriniar having become the ninth player on that single-strike list with his winner against Poland.

• Kucka, who has registered ten international goals in 85 appearances for Slovakia, is still waiting to score his first at a final tournament, having gone nine games without one.

• Aside from Weiss – the only player in Štefan Tarkovič's squad representing a Slovakian club – five other players in the party won domestic league titles across Europe in 2020/21: Škriniar in Italy with Internazionale, Jakub Hromada in the Czech Republic with Slavia Praha, Mak in Hungary with Ferencváros, and both Ďuriš and Hubočan in Cyprus with Omonoia. Hrošovský was also a Belgian Cup winner with Genk.

Star of the Match: Jordi Alba highlights


• The draw against Poland was the third in succession for Spain under Luis Enrique's charge following a stalemate against Portugal in Madrid on 4 June, in which newly naturalised defender Aymeric Laporte made his debut, and the goalless encounter with Sweden on Matchday 1. 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.

• This is the first time Spain have failed to win either of their opening two games at a UEFA European Championship since EURO ‘96, when they also recorded two draws before qualifying for the knockout rounds with a 2-1 win against Romania on Matchday 3 – a match Enrique also observed from the bench, as an unused substitute.

• Spain have now gone four EURO finals matches without a win. The last time that happened was before that decisive victory against Romania in Leeds 25 years ago.

• Spain have nevertheless lost just one of their last 26 internationals – 0-1 away to Ukraine in a UEFA Nations League encounter last November – and are unbeaten in ten games since (W4 D6). Despite that defeat in Kyiv they have qualified for the 2021 UEFA Nations League finals and will face hosts Italy in the first of the semi-finals in Milan on 6 October.

• 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.

Star of the Match: Jordi Alba reaction

• In Ramos's absence, Barcelona's Sergio Busquets has taken over the captaincy. The 122-cap midfielder – who has yet to appear at the tournament – is one of only three players in the squad who came into UEFA EURO 2020 with 50 or more caps, the others being Jordi Alba – the stand-in skipper against Sweden and Poland, now on 74 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 and their only one so far at this tournament, 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 finals. He has scored four of Spain’s last five EURO finals goals and is also the only member of the squad with an international goal tally in double figures (20).

• Only one of the 17 major tournament debutants in the squad has over 20 international caps to his name – Rodri, with 22 – 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 for Villarreal in the Spanish Liga, a figure bettered only by Lionel Messi, with 30 for Barcelona. He missed a penalty against Poland.

• 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.