Spain coach Luis Enrique heaped praise on his players after they demolished Costa Rica 7-0 in their World Cup opener on Wednesday and said they will approach the game against Germany with the same level of ambition.
Former champions Spain won by their biggest goal margin at a World Cup, with a Ferran Torres brace and strikes from five other players taking them past the 100-goal mark in soccer's showpiece event.
"When things go like this, football becomes a wonderful sport," Luis Enrique told a news conference.
"We were exceptional in our ball handling and finishing, with the same philosophy that the national team has had for years. We were exceptional in pressing and the 17 players who took part were very good.
"It is the national team that scores the most goals in all the championships we have been in. We may not have a benchmark player who scores 30 goals but we have Ferran, Dani Olmo, Marco Asensio, Gavi... I've never been worried about finding goals."
Spain World Cup 2022 squad
Goalkeepers: Unai Simon, Robert Sanchez, David Raya
Defenders: Dani Carvajal, Cesar Azpilicueta, Eric Garcia, Hugo Guillamon, Pau Torres, Aymeric Laporte, Jordi Alba, Jose Gaya
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Rodrigo, Gavi, Carlos Soler, Marcos Llorente, Pedri, Koke
Forwards: Ferran Torres, Nico Williams, Yeremy Pino, Alvaro Morata, Marco Asensio, Pablo Sarabia, Dani Olmo, Ansu Fati
Who are their key players?
Pau Torres is a commanding centre-back constantly linked with moves away from Villarreal, where he made 33 league appearances last season. He has earned 21 caps for Spain at the age of 25 and he will be a solid presence at the back for Luis Enrique’s side.
Pedri is one of the players at the forefront of the new generation of young Spanish talent. Still only 19, the creative midfielder was a key figure for Barcelona during the 2020-21 season and it was only injuries and fitness issues that prevented him making as many appearances the year after. A roaming playmaker with outstanding technical ability, this will be Pedri’s first World Cup and a chance to impress on the biggest stage of all.
Similarly to Pedri, Gavi is another teenager who has been handed an extended run in the Barcelona first team as well as the Spain senior squad. With 10 caps before his 18th birthday in August, the midfielder's technical abilities have earned him comparisons with Xavi, his current manager at Camp Nou. The World Cup in Qatar could be the first of many for a player of such high potential.
What are Spain's chances of winning the World Cup?
Spain have underperformed at the past two World Cups. After a spell of dominance on the international stage – winning two Euro tournaments and a World Cup between 2008 and 2012 – they were surprisingly knocked out in the group stage in 2014 and in the Round of 16 against hosts Russia in 2018.
But under the guidance of Luis Enrique, they are currently undergoing a transitional period with a host of young players being bedded into the side over the last two years.
They impressed in qualifying, losing only one of their eight matches as they finished top of their group, and will be hoping to progress considerably further in Qatar.
What are Spain's fixtures?
Spain are in Group E alongside Germany, Costa Rica and Japan.
What is Spain’s World Cup record?
Spain’s 2010 success in South Africa is their only World Cup title so far. A star-studded line-up containing Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Xavi, Iniesta, David Villa and Fernando Torres came out on top against Netherlands in the final, thanks to Andreas Iniesta's extra-time winner.
They have qualified for every World Cup since 1978 but have failed to make it past the quarter-final stage in any other tournament. Spain are in a somewhat difficult group for Qatar, with Germany, 2018 excepted, typically rising to the occasion plus the gritty Costa Rica and slick Japan.
It may be a tournament too soon for them to fulfil their potential but Luis Enrique is building something special.
Argentina | Australia | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | Ecuador | England | France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | Tunisia | Uruguay | USA | Wales
What are the latest odds?
Spain are currently a best price of 7/1 to win the World Cup.