Spain FIFA 18 Word Cup guide, squad, player ratings, tactics, formation & tips

Spain blew the world away a decade ago, winning the World Cup sandwiched between two European Championships. Can you return them to the top on FIFA 18?


It seems a while ago that Spain were the kings of the world. La Roja won Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and then Euro 2012 back-to-back, but their humbling in Brazil four years ago sent them back to the drawing board.

Although the big names remain, Spain have had to put their playing style in check. Tiki-taka is no more, with counter-attacking the most common theme in world football. With so many architects in their squad, Spain are unlikely to conform with other international sides this summer, but their pass-and-move style must be executed perfectly if they are to be in with a shout for a second World Cup title.

If you are a football purist, Spain are the team to manage on the World Cup update for FIFA 18. Despite their magnitude of talent it will be tough, but with the help our RealSport guide you may just go all the way in Russia. 

Team Rating

Spain have a 5 star rating on the World Cup update. This consists of an 84 attack, 86 midfield and 85 defence. 

Spain’s potential World Cup fixtures

Group Stage

Portugal

Iran

Morocco

Round of 16

Russia or Uruguay

Quarterfinals

Argentina or France

Semifinals

Germany/Brazil/Belgium

Final

France/Brazil/Germany

Spain get their tournament underway against neighbours and European champions Portugal, and the winners of that fiery contest are likely to top Group B. With Spain, you should be looking to rack up the goals against the minnows of Iran and Morocco.

If you finish top of the group, you are likely to face hosts Russia in the Round of 16, although if Mohamed Salah maintains his form for the World Cup, Egypt could surprise us all and sneak into the knockout stages. 

The quarterfinals is where the heavyweights meet, and it’s likely to be clash with Lionel Messi’s Argentina, where Spain would still be the favourites. That wouldn’t be the case if they were to meet Germany or Brazil in the semifinal, with the victors of that tie set to be the favourites against France in the final. 

Formation

With so many creative players, picking a system for Spain is hard work. Current boss Julen Lopetegui uses a 4-3-3 holding formation, and you should follow suit.

Star stopper David De Gea (92 GK reflexes) is the easy choice in goal, and he has a strong back four of Dani Carvajal, the solid Sergio Ramos (91 slide tackle), Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba ahead of him.

Sergio Busquets is in the holding role, with the creative Thiago (91 short passing) and experienced Andres Iniesta completing the midfield. David Silva and Isco provide the width as Diego Costa leads the line.

On the bench go for Pepe Reina, Inigo Martinez, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kike, Marco Asensio and the pacey pairing of Jose Callejon (90 sprint speed) and Rodrigo (92 sprint speed).

Tactics

The difficulty you have with this Spain side is that there are four players who are all architects so getting them to co-operate is a tough task.

Movement will therefore be the key, especially as the lesser nations you face will be camped on the edge of their box. David Silva, who operates as central midfielder for Manchester City, should be told to ‘cut inside’ for chance creation on the instructions tab, and support runs should be put to ‘come short’.

Width will need to be provided by the pacey full backs of Dani Carvajal (86 sprint speed) and Jordi Alba (93 sprint speed), so make sure attacking runs is altered to ‘always overlap’ for both of them. 



With so much movement behind it’s vital Diego Costa remains high up the pitch to act as the focal point. His support runs should be on ‘stay central’ and you have a choice of either ‘target man’ or ‘default’ for attacking runs. 

In the attacking third, there isn’t a great deal of speed in the Spain side, so you may need to bring some pace off the bench. Rodrigo (89 acceleration) and Jose Callejon (90 acceleration) are possible options. 

Return to the top

If you compare the current Spain squad to one that dominated world football, there isn’t a huge amount of difference in quality. The rest of the world have perhaps caught up with the Spanish, but they have a fantastic chance to reclaim gold at the World Cup in Russia.

On the World Cup mode, you should be looking to reach the semifinals at a minimum, and if you get a fortunate draw you could go all the way. Germany and Brazil are the biggest threats, but given Spain smashed Argentina 6-1 earlier this year, you shouldn’t fear anyone this summer. 

Spain squad player ratings

Player

Age

Pos

Club

OVR

Goalkeepers

David de Gea

27

GK

Manchester United

91

Pepe Reina

35

GK

Napoli

83

Kepa Arrizabalaga

23

GK

Athletic Bilbao

82

Sergio Rico

24

GK

82

Defenders

Sergio Ramos

32

CB

Real Madrid

90

Gerard Pique

31

CB

Barcelona

87

Jordi Alba

29

LB

Barcelona

85

Dani Carvajal

26

RB

Real Madrid

84

Cesar Azpilicueta

28

RB
CB

Chelsea

83

Inigo Martinez

27

CB

Athletic Bilbao

82

Nacho Fernandez

28

CB
RB
LB

Real Madrid

82

Nacho Monreal

32

LB
CB

Arsenal

82

Sergi Roberto

26

RB
CDM
CM

Barcelona

81

Marc Bartra

27

CB

Real Betis

81

Alvaro Odriozola

22

RB

Real Sociedad?

79

Midfielders

Thiago

27

CM
CAM
CDM

Bayern Munich

88

Sergio Busquets

29

CDM
CM

Barcelona

87

Andres Iniesta

34

CM
LM

Barcelona

87

Koke

26

CM
RM
LM

Atletico Madrid

85

Javi Martinez

29

CDM
CB

Bayern Munich

83

Ander Herrera

28

CM
CDM

Manchester United

83

Saul

23

CM
LM
RM

Atletico Madrid

82

Jonathan Viera

28

CM
CAM
LW

Beijing Sinobo Guan

82

Asier Illarramendi

28

CDM
CM

Real Sociedad

81

Attackers

David Silva

32

RW
CAM
CM

Manchester City

87

Isco

26

LW
RW
CAM

Real Madrid

86

Marco Asensio

22

LW
CAM
RW

Real Madrid

84

Diego Costa

29

ST

Atletico Madrid

84

Iago Aspas

30

ST

RW

Celta Vigo

83

Rodrigo

27

ST
RW
LW

Valencia

83

Aritz Aduriz

37

ST

Athletic Bilbao

83

Lucas Vazquez

26

RW
RM

Real Madrid

83

Alvaro Morata

25

ST

Chelsea

83

Suso

24

RW

AC Milan

82

Jose Callejon

31

RW

Napoli

82

Pedro

30

LW
RW

Chelsea

82

Juan Mata

30

RW
CAM

Manchester United

82

David Villa

36

ST
LW

New York City

82

Vitolo

28

RW
LW

Atletico Madrid

81

Paco Alcacer

24

ST

Barcelona

79

  1. How far will Spain go at the World Cup?

    1. Group Stage
    2. Round of 16
    3. Quarterfinals
    4. Semifinals
    5. Runners Up
    6. World Champions
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Alastair Pusinelli

I am RealSport's Editor-in-Chief having covered almost everything across the board on the platform. Starting with content on football and the Chinese Super League, I have expanded into esports and gaming, via a stint as rugby editor.

With RS now focused on gaming and working alongside Gfinity, I led the site's coverage on the football titles of FIFA, Football Manager and PES. This has enabled me to cover official esports events such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, FUT Champions Cups and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC.

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