During a four-year spell between 2008 and 2012 - which included a World Cup win (2010) sandwiched between two European Championships (2008 and 2012) - the Spanish national team towered above all others.
However, the air of invincibility they emitted eventually subsided - the 4-0 Confederations Cup defeat to Brazil in 2013 exposing a squad buckling under the weight of expectation.
The team exited the last World Cup with a whimper and the football world lamented the end of an era.
Following a rebuilding process that involved the recruitment of RFEF golden boy Julen Lopetegui as Coach, Spain have enjoyed something of a revival. They have remained unbeaten and are now keen to prove themselves at tournament level once again.
The 2018 Russia World Cup draw on Friday December 1, 2017 placed Lopetegui’s men in Group B alongside Iberian neighbours Portugal, Morocco and Iran. La Furia Roja will be expected to emerge from that group but which teams would they face in the knockout stages?
There are two routes to the World Cup final which would be determined by their finishing position in Group B.
If Spain wins Group B
If Spain wins the group, they would play the following fixtures:
|1||Portugal vs. SPAIN||Friday, June 15, 2018||20:00||Fisht Olympic Stadium||Sochi|
|2||Iran vs. SPAIN||Wednesday, June 20, 2018||20:00||Kazan Arena||Kazan|
|3||SPAIN vs. Morocco||Monday, June 25, 2018||20:00||Kaliningrad Stadium||Kaliningrad|
|4||Round of 16||Sunday, July 1, 2018||16:00||Luzhniki Stadium||Moscow|
|5||Quarter-finals||Saturday, July 7, 2018||20:00||Fisht Olympic Stadium||Sochi|
|6||Semi-finals||Wednesday, July 11. 2018||20:00||Luzhniki Stadium||Moscow|
|7||Final||Saturday, July 14, 2018||17:00||Luzhniki Stadium||Moscow|
Assuming the favourites progress in order during each phase, their opponents in the Round of 16 would be hosts Russia. From there, Lionel Messi’s Argentina would be waiting in the quarter-finals. Next up, would be a semi-final clash against Germany, followed by a final against Brazil.
Potential route to final #1:
|Group||Round of 16||Quarter-final||Semi-final||Final|