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The Spanish National Team will try to touch the sky for the third time in a row this summer, when they defend their UEFA Euro championship in France. La Roja may not be as shiny as they used to be, but they surely have quality players that could go all the way.
Coach Vicente del Bosque, who is expected to retire when the competition ends, will want to leave the team on a high note, becoming the only National Team to win the tournament three times in a row.
La Roja is a three-time European championship winner. Their first success came in 1964, when they took advantage of their status as hosts to reach the tournament's final. A 2-1 win would give them their first taste of European glory, but the Spanish crew would have to wait 44 years to repeat that feat. During Euro 2008, a goal by Fernando Torres gave them their second-ever title against runners-up Germany. In 2012, La Roja became the first back-to-back champions in the tournament's history after destroying Mario Balotelli, Andrea Pirlo and the rest of Italy's squad with a 4-0 scoreline.
Spain is tied with Germany as the tournament's most successful sides with three trophies each.
La Roja enters this tournament with an unbeaten nine-game winning streak which includes friendlies. They concluded the UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifiers as leaders in Group C, despite an unexpected loss against Slovakia. Their most recent defeat happened back in March of 2015, when The Netherlands handed them a 2-0 loss during a friendly. As per FIFA's May rankings, Spain holds the 6th spot in the overall chart. Before UEFA Euro 2016 starts, Spain will play three friendly matches against Bosnia, South Korea and Georgia. Manager Vicente del Bosque will then announce who makes his final 23-man squad.
The veteran coach has made a name for himself with La Roja, leading his National Team to their first-ever World Cup title. The former Real Madrid boss is known for his calm temper and fatherly approach towards his players, and his team usually privileges possession football. "El Bigotón" won the 2012 FIFA Coach of the Year award, and is expected to step down as the team's manager once the tournament ends. His list of accolades includes two UEFA Champions League trophies with Real Madrid.
Mediaset España acquired the Euro 2016 broadcast rights this year, meaning that live coverage of Spanish national team matches, as well as other games including the final will be aired live on national TV stations Telecinco and Cuatro.
Go to Spain's page for the team's full UEFA Euro 2016 fixtures and global online and TV listings.
Here is the 23-man squad that will make the trip to France:
|History||Founded: 1913, Affiliated: 1904|
|Uniform||Jerseys: Red, Shorts:Blue, Stockings:Blue|
|World Cup Appearances||14: (1934, 1950, 1962, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014)|
|World Cup Results||First: (2010)
|Continental Titles||First: UEFA EURO (1964, 2008, 2012)
Second: UEFA EURO (1984)
|Best Results||First: Olympic Football Tournament Final (1992), FIFA U-20 World Cup Final (1999), FIFA Futsal World Cup Final (2000, 2004), FIFA Club World Cup (2009, 2011)
Second: Olympic Football Tournament Final (1920, 2000), FIFA U-20 World Cup Final (1985, 2003), FIFA U-17 World Cup Final (1991, 2003, 2007), FIFA Futsal World Cup Final (1996, 2008, 2012), FIFA Club World Cup (2006), FIFA Confederations Cup (2013), FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Final (2013), FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Final (2014)
Third: FIFA Futsal World Cup Final (1992), FIFA U-17 World Cup Final (1997, 2009), FIFA Confederations Cup (2009), FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Final (2010)
Fourth: FIFA U-20 World Cup Final (1995), FIFA Club World Cup (2000), FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Final (2008)