Spain Euro 2024 squad, predicted line-up versus Croatia, latest odds and star players

SPAIN’S team may not be a patch on the one that dominated world football 15 years ago – which had superstars coming out of its ears.

Yet Luis de la Fuente’s side still topped a qualifying group full of banana skins.

GettyLuis de la Fuente is in charge of a strong Spain squad[/caption]

The only slip-up came at Hampden Park when Scott McTominay’s double earned Scotland a famous 2-0 win – after which crybaby Rodri branded the Tartan Army’s style “a bit rubbish”.

Spain triumphed in all their other games, seeing off Erling Haaland’s Norway and winning 7-1 away to Georgia, who will also compete in Germany thanks to the play-offs.

Chelsea fans may be surprised to see Alvaro Morata is captain, given he was hardly an inspiration at Stamford Bridge.

In fact La Roja’s squad is full of Premier League players from the past, present and, quite possibly, future.

Manchester City marathon man Rodri is the man who orchestrates Spain’s gameplan.

Newcastle fans are still bemused by the reversal of fortune for their former flop Joselu – now starring for Real Madrid – while Mikel Merino also once wore black and white.

Merino’s Real Sociedad team-mate Martin Zubimendi is a long-time target for Arsenal, and Spurs are keen on Nico Williams.

Dani Olmo – whose hat-trick in August’s German Super Cup denied Harry Kane yet another trophy – has a £52million release clause at RB Leipzig which kicks in this summer.

Manager: Luis de la Fuente

Surprise choice as coach but won the Under-21 Euros in 2019 and an Olympic silver medal a year later.

GettyLuis de la Fuente has got off to a strong start as Spain boss[/caption]

Key man: Rodri

Rodri is arguably the greatest holding midfielder the Premier League has ever seen.

But will Manchester City’s Mr Invincible have enough left in the tank after complaints of tiredness this season?

Rodri plays a vital anchoring role for Spain

Likely line-up

De la Fuente makes full use of Spain’s reputation for technical brilliance by packing out his midfield.

Rodri and Fabian Ruiz provide a solid base, allowing Gavi licence to roam.

Morata is often deployed as a target man with plenty of pace on the flanks provided by the likes of Ferran Torres and Williams.

There is plenty of experience at full-back thanks to Jose Gaya and Dani Carvajal.

How they attack

Under Luis de la Fuente, Spain will be a very different side to what we have seen in recent years.

Gone is the 4-3-3 to be replaced by a more structured 4-2-3-1 system and this forms the basis of how they will attack in this tournament.

When building out from deeper positions we will see Spain push their full-backs slightly higher – to the same line as the two deeper central midfielders.

The goalkeeper effectively forms a back three with the two central defenders.

This shape, along with the two central midfielders dropping back, will help Spain to effectively move the ball out from the back.

Rodri and Fabian Ruiz are the two deepest midfielders and they will stay deep in build-up as the full-backs push forward, and the keeper moves alongside the centre-backs

When they are further up the pitch, the wide attackers and central attacking midfielder are very fluid, moving in and out of position in order to create space that can be exploited.  

Rodri has the ball and the winger moves inside to allow the ful-lback to dash down the wing to receive the ball

With the two deepest midfielders holding their shape at the base of the attack, Spain attack with four players.

The attacking midfielder and two wingers move forward aggressively to support the striker.

They will then be further supported by the two full-backs moving into advanced positions.

Rodri finds Morata in the channel and the Spanish have plenty of options in attack

Spain will be a real threat to opposition teams with their willingness to push players forward.

How they defend

The move away from their traditional 4-3-3 shape into a 4-2-3-1 also makes Spain more solid defensively.

The presence of two deep midfielders offers security and allows them to push further forward and to press in a higher block.

Spain look to press and work in a high block to try to regain possession high. They will press from their strikers looking to cut off passing lanes for the goalkeeper

Spain will consistently be brave in their defensive game plan.

They will be willing to push players high and to play man-on-man against the opposition.

In doing so they will effectively force the opposition either into making a mistake and a loose pass or playing longer and giving the ball away.

Nico Williams ends up pressing right across to the goalkeeper from the far side as the rest of the team go man to man.

The likes of Williams and Lamine Yamal provide pace and direct running from the wide areas and support Morata, who is defensively intelligent player.

Spain work together to limit opportunities for the opposition to play forward.

Spain press high and work defensively. They will regain possession regularly in these areas.


Should Spain top their group, their last-16 opponents will be one of the best third-placed teams.

They would then likely have to go through Germany in the quarter-finals and Portugal or the Netherlands in the semis.

By finishing second, they would probably face Hungary or Switzerland for the right to set up a potential last-eight collision with England.

France or Belgium would then be realistic semi-final opponents meaning Spain are going to have it tough either way – as he been reflected in their odds.

Latest odds

The three-time winners are fifth favourites to win the competition behind England, France, Germany and Portugal.

They are 8/1 with William Hill to add a fourth crown.


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Glam fans and Wags

Real Madrid stalwart Carvajal has been married to partner Daphne since 2022 – team-mate Joselu is his brother-in-law.

The two tied the knot at a rustic former Franciscan convent in Ayllon, Segovia, in front of just 250 close friends and family members.

Torres has split from former Spain boss Luis Enrique’s daughter Sira.

She is a professional show-jumper and a member of the swanky Barcelona Royal Polo Club.

Captain Morata is dating stunning Italian model and fashion designer Alice Campello.

She revealed she spent eight months ignoring his messages before they got together.

The Mega AgencyDani Carvajal poses with wife Daphne[/caption]

InstagramLuis Enrique’s daughter will be supporting Spain despite her split[/caption]

Instagram / @siramartinezcSira Martinez was dating Ferran Torres[/caption]

Instagram / @alicecampelloAlice Campello will also be in the stands[/caption]

Alvaro Morata finally persuaded the stunning model to date him

Instagram / @sara_botelloSara Botello recently had a child with Aymeric Laporte[/caption]

Instagram @Sara_BotelloThe couple tied the knot last year[/caption]

Instagram @lolaliberalMikel Merino’s stunning girlfriend Lola Liberal[/caption]

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