Spain at the World Cup

Brazil 2014 was Spain's 14th participation at the World Cup. Their previous appearances were in 1934, 1950, 1962, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010. Their best performance was in 2010, winning 1-0 in the Final against the Netherlands. Their previous best performance was 4th place in 1950.

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 Turkey in the qualifying round, Spain lost a toss-up and were eliminated. Turkey then became a seeded team in the finals.

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

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.

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