Topend Sports Logo

Spain at the World Cup

Spain has played in 16 out of the 22 tournaments held so far. Their best performance was in 2010, winning 1-0 in the Final against the Netherlands. Their previous best performance was 4th place in 1950.

Spain playing at the 2010 World Cup Spain playing at the 2010 World Cup

In Spain's first World Cup in 1934, they lost to Italy in the quarter-finals in a replayed match.

When Spain finished 4th place in 1950, they beat the USA, Chile and England on their way to a semi-final spot. Subsequent losses to Brazil and Sweden saw the Spaniards finish fourth overall.

Despite Spain being a seeded team for the 1954 finals, they did not play in that final series, as they were eliminated in the qualifying round following the toss of a coin to decide a drawn match - the first team to do so in the World Cup. For the 1954 World Cup, unlike now, the seeded teams for the finals were determined before the qualifying competition. After a tie with Türkiye in the qualifying round, Spain lost a toss-up and were eliminated. Türkiye then became a seeded team in the finals.

In 1982, Spanish fans were devastated when the national team and tournament hosts managed only one victory on home soil and just managed to reach the second phase of the World Cup.

The national team enjoyed a better tournament in 1986, before being eliminated by Belgium in a penalty shoot-out. In 1990 they lost in extra time in the second round to Yugoslavia, while in 1994 they reached the quarter-finals. In 1998 they were eliminated in the first round. Korea Republic ended a more successful Spanish campaign in 2002, defeating them in a penalty shoot-out again in the quarter-finals.

In 2014, Spain had a shocking tournament, becoming the fifth defending champions to not make it past the first round.

Spain's 7-0 win over Costa Rica in their opening game at the 2022 Qatar World Cup was the most goals they have scored in any World Cup match.

Spain will co-host the 2030 World Cup.

Related Pages

send us a comment Any comments, suggestions, or corrections? Please let us know.

FIFA World Cup Extra

The next men's World Cup will be held held jointly in Canada, USA and Mexico 2026, for the women the next will be Brazil in 2027. See more firsts and other trivia, a quiz, and also information about each country at the World Cup. Most importantly, who are the winners?

More Football

Football (some call it soccer) is the world's most popular sport. There are many major football tournaments, the pinnacle is the FIFA World Cup. See a calendar of what is coming up. There have been many legends of the game, particularly winners of the Ballon d'Or. For players, there are articles about Football Fitness and Fitness Testing.

Major Events Extra

The largest sporting event in the world is the Olympic Games, but there are many other multi-sport games. In terms of single sport events, nothing beats the FIFA World Cup. To see what's coming up, check out the calendar of major sporting events.

 → How to Cite