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Germany vs. Spain could be semifinal preview

International friendly
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Lopetegui keeping Spain calm, confident

Spain
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Is Spain 'tournament-ready'?

Spain
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Spain, Andres Iniesta have talent, poise to reclaim World Cup in 2018

Spain has shared the goal scoring load quite a bit over the last two years.

The 2018 World Cup is just over a month away, and all 32 teams are preparing in earnest for their shot at the trophy in Russia. ESPN FC is previewing every team ahead of the opening game on June 14. Find all 32 teams here.

Who they are

Captain: Sergio Ramos
Manager: Julen Lopetegui
Nickname: La Roja
FIFA Rank (as of April 12, 2018): 8

How they qualified

Spain sailed through qualifying in Europe's Group G, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games while scoring 36 goals and conceding...



ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

David Villa scores 400th career goal: El Guaje's impact on Spain, MLS and beyond

David Villa joined elite company in NYCFC's win over FC Dallas, becoming the sixth active player to reach 400 career goals for club and country.
David Villa scores the 400th goal of this career for club and country from the penalty spot to give NYCFC the lead against FC Dallas.

With a goal for New York City FC against FC Dallas on Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, David Villa became the fourth active player to score 400 career goals. Graham Hunter, Sam Marsden, Dermot Corrigan and Jeff Carlisle illustrate the impact of El Guaje across Spanish, U.S. and international football.

Spain and Valencia

Like many others, the first time David Villa entered my consciousness was January 2004. Coming on as a half-time substitute at the Camp Nou, he tucked away the penalty which,...

 By Sid Lowe

If Isco is so 'magic,' why is he still not a first choice for Real Madrid?

In the Real Madrid dressing room, they have a nickname for Isco. "Magic" they call him, which, when you think about it, is quite something. Imagine it: Cristiano Ronaldo is in there, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos too, players who have won it all, and it's you who's magic.

Imagine you're so talented that Madrid's footballers call you that. An opposition manager describes you as "the light," too, and Zinedine Zidane, who knows a bit about doing things other people can't,...

 By Ian Darke

World Cup 2018: Only five real favourites to win in Russia

The FC panel answer your tweets on the player most likely to win the World Cup Golden Boot, the differences between Maradona's Argentina and Messi's Argentina and more.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Ale Moreno delve into the differences between Paul Pogba's play with France versus his recent form with Man United.
The FC panel answer your tweets on why Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't have the same pressure to win the World Cup as Lionel Messi, the 'Bayern problem' in the Bundesliga and more.

The World Cup is less than three months away. If that does not quicken the pulse, you're probably better off with a good book. For the rest of us, the guessing games and predictions start here. Late injuries to key players could still upset calculations, but for this observer, there are only five teams with a realistic chance of lifting the trophy.

Top of that list would be defending champions Germany, who have a squad stacked with top players and a coach in Joachim Low with course and distance...

 By Michael Cox

Spain impress collectively; Brazil and Argentina need Neymar and Messi

The FC panel answer your tweets on the player most likely to win the World Cup Golden Boot, the differences between Maradona's Argentina and Messi's Argentina and more.
After Argentina conceded six goals in their friendly against Spain, the ESPN FC guys discuss how much should be read into the result.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Ale Moreno delve into the differences between Paul Pogba's play with France versus his recent form with Man United.

Assessing the contenders to win the World Cup results in two obvious conclusions.

The first is negative: There are fewer genuine contenders than in 2010 or 2014. This is partly the consequence of some high-profile absences; Netherlands and Italy are usually among either the favourites or the best-placed outsiders, while Chile were many people's dark horses ahead of the previous two editions. When combined with a sense that the likes of Colombia, Uruguay and Portugal are probably weaker than four...

 By Chris Wright

Lionel Messi walked out after Argentina conceded sixth goal vs. Spain

Argentina were forced to endure a night of prolonged misery and pain as Spain inflicted a shock 6-1 drubbing on their hapless opponents at the Metropolitano stadium in Madrid.

Isco helped himself to a hat trick and even David De Gea managed to horn in on the action, the Manchester United goalkeeper picking up an unlikely assist by providing the long ball over the top for Iago Aspas to slot home La Roja's fifth goal.

Indeed, when Isco rounded off the six-goal rout in the 74th minute, Lionel Messi...