all set for Chile!
Spain plays Chile tonight (20h) in Geneva, in a battle of the “La Roja” teams!
Data, statistics and anecdotes.
Spain vs. Chile: Spain and Chile have played each other nine times, with Spain winning eight of those games and tying one.
Countries: Switzerland ranks ninth on the list of countries where Spain has played the most, after Spain (277), France (25), Italy (21), Portugal (20), England (17), Germany (15), Austria (15) and Belgium (15). Spain’s record in Switzerland is 11-2.
Neutral ground: since the loss to Switzerland in South Africa, Spain has not lost a single game on a neutral field, racking up a record of 19 wins and three ties. Before this current streak, Spain’s longest streak was 10 games. Spain’s record on neutral fields is 62-20-21.
Chori!: on June 7, 2011, Raúl Albiol set the world record of most consecutive wins in the history of national teams, with 27. That streak ended with the friendly against Italy on Aug. 10, 2011. However, El Chori soon embarked on another winning streak, and is currently at 14, which is the 21st best record all-time. Albiol is the only player to appear twice on the list of top 25 players with the best winning streaks in national team football.
Winners: there are three Spaniards on the list of top 10 players with most wins in the history of national teams. Iker is first with 110, while Xavi is second with 96 and Sergio Ramos is eighth with 87 (he’s tied with Donovan and Claudio Súarez). If Spain beats Chile, Sergio will move up to seventh, where Cafú is.
Unbeaten: Switzerland is the country where Spain has played the most number of times (13) without losing. Next are Yugoslavia/Serbia (8), Poland (6), South Korea (5), Hungary (5), Greece (4) and Ukraine (4). There are 38 countries where Spain has played and has not lost.
Debuts: if Nacho plays, and he is expected too, he will be the 35th player to debut under Vicente del Bosque (here are the others), and the first Real Madrid player to do so in 11 years, after Iñaki Saez debuted Raúl Bravo on Aug. 21, 2002 in a friendly against Hungary.
Club data: since then, 74 players from 20 different clubs have debuted with Spain: Barcelona (9), Atlético (8), Valencia (8), Athletic (7), Sevilla (7), Villarreal (6), Getafe (3), Liverpool (3), Espanyol (3), Real Sociedad (3), Osasuna (2), Málaga (2), Zaragoza (2), Celta (2), Deportivo (2), Mallorca (2), Betis (2), Arsenal (1), Chelsea (1) and Benfica (1). Nacho will be the 116th Real Madrid player to represent Spain, although only 80 have debuted while playing for Real Madrid. Barcelona leads in that category, with 124 players. The next teams are Athletic (95) and Atlético (87).
With another club: however, in the last 11 years, 12 Real Madrid canteranos have debuted with Spain while playing for another club: Contreras, Mista, Luis García, Soldado, Arbeloa, De la Red, Mata, Diego López, Negredo, Borja Valero, Juanfran and Javi García.
The game against Finland.
Spain beat Finland 2-0 in Helsinki on Friday, behind goals from Jordi Alba and Álvaro Negredo. This was Álvaro Negredo’s eighth goal with La Roja, and Jordi Alba’s fifth.
As France tied Georgia in its game (0-0), the win widened Spain’s lead atop the group to three points with two games left. To qualify for the World Cup, Spain will need to take four of the remaining six points, meaning that a win and a tie against Belarus (Oct. 11) and Georgia (Oct. 15) will be sufficient. That will be the best case scenario, since then we won’t have to depend on the results of any other teams.
Xavi played in his 127th game, moving him past Andoni Zubizarreta for second place on the all-time games played list. Ahead of him is of course Iker Casillas, at 150 games (out of 178 call-ups). The record for Iker is 110-26-14. This was also Sergio Ramos’ 110th game and Jesús Navas’ 30th. Meanwhile, Andrés Iniesta is now tied with Fernando Hierro at 10th place with 89 games.
And here’s an interesting statistic: Spain has won all 34 of the games in which Sergio Ramos and Raúl Albiol paired up in the center of the defense.
The team returned to Madrid after the game, and the players got Saturday off. On Sunday, they returned to training. Isco and David Silva, however, left the concentración as both are slightly injured and no one wants to risk them. Thus, they were excused from the upcoming game against Chile.
Two years ago, Iker, Álvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos and Raúl Albiol signed up for a sporting director course offered by the RFEF. The course ended on Dec. 19, 2011, and on Monday, they finally received their diplomas, from the hands of Jorge Carretero, the director of the program and also the RFEF’s spokesperson.
And check out this video of Nacho Fernández making one little kid extremely happy!
La Rojita once again steamrolled past their opponents, beating Albania 4-0 in Logroño in their second 2015 U-21 Euro qualifier. The goals were scored by Iker Muniain (two), Álvaro Morata and Jesé. Here’s my favorite photo from Monday night.
Spain currently leads Group 4 with six points. La Rojita’s next games are against Bosnia on Oct. 10 in Murcia, and against Hungary on Oct. 14 in Cartagena.
Judging by the photos the boys have shared of each other on social networks, the one month until they’ll be reunited is one month too long!