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Dream team

Ultimate Spain dream team - Iniesta & Ramos in, Busquets out

7:00 AM GMT 06/12/2022
Ultimate Spain dream team
Some of the game's biggest legends have featured for Spain, but only the greatest among them can make our all-time XI

Spain are without a doubt one of the most successful teams of the 21st century.

La Furia Roja are the only national team to win three consecutive major international titles, winning the Euros in 2008, World Cup in 2010 and then the Euros again in 2012.

Many even feel that the Spanish squad that dominated the game between 2008 and 2012 is one of the best sides to have ever existed in the history of football.

There have been plenty of superstars in other eras, though, with players such as Paco Gento and Fernando Hierro among the greatest players of their respective generations.

So who would be part of Spain's ultimate dream team?

Let's take a look!

  • Iker Casillas Spain

    GK: Iker Casillas

    Casillas is arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.

    His ability to make spectacular saves at crucial junctures led him to claim the record of most clean sheets kept for the national team.

    Casillas played a major role in leading Spain to the 2010 World Cup where he kept five clean sheets, winning the best goalkeeper of the tournament award in the process.

    When Spain won the Euro 2012, he set the record for the most consecutive minutes without conceding a goal in the competition.

    With 167 appearances for Spain across 16 years, Casillas represented Spain at four World Cups.

  • Sergio Ramos Spain 2021

    CB: Sergio Ramos

    One of the greatest centre-backs in history, Ramos represented Spain at four World Cups and three Euros.

    He won the 2010 World Cup and two European Championships in 2008 and 2012.

    His performances at the 2010 World Cup earned him a spot in the FIFA World Cup Dream Team that year.

    Astonishingly, Ramos is also Spain's ninth-highest all-time record goalscorer with 23 goals.

    He also holds the record of most international wins with Spain, emerging victorious in 131 of the 180 games he played.

  • Carles Puyol Spain

    CB: Carles Puyol

    Regarded as one of the greatest captains in world football, Puyol was a proper leader for Spain.

    The Barcelona legend made 100 appearances for Spain between 2000 and 2013 and played a key role in helping his country win Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

    He missed Spain's victorious Euro 2012 campaign due to a knee injury, however.

    Puyol faced stiff competition from long-time Barcelona team-mate Gerard Pique for a spot in defence, but his leadership abilities see him narrowly edge it.

  • Fernando Hierro Spain

    CB: Fernando Hierro

    One of the greatest goalscoring defenders of all time, Hierro scored over 100 goals in his professional career, with 29 of them coming for the Spanish national team in 89 games between 1989 and 2002.

    He was part of the Spanish contingent at the 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002 World Cups and also featured in Euro 1996 and 2000.

    One of his most important contributions to Spain came during the 1994 World Cup qualification as he headed home the winner against Denmark that saw Spain qualify for the tournament in the USA.

  • Luis Suarez Spain

    RM: Luis Suarez

    Regarded as one of the greatest Spanish footballers of all time, Suarez revolutionised the importance of midfield during his career between 1953 and 1973.

    Known for his incredible passing ability and a powerful shot, in 1960, he became the first and only male Spanish-born player to win the Ballon d'Or.

    In 1964, Suarez helped Spain win the Euros.

    He made just 32 appearances for Spain, but achieved greatness in a short period of time, scoring 14 goals from midfield.

  • Xabi Alonso Spain Euro

    CM: Xabi Alonso

    Alonso burst on to the international scene in April 2003, debuting for Spain in a 4-0 win against Ecuador.

    With him in central midfield, Spain won Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 and he also represented the country at Euro 2004 and 2006 World Cup.

    Alonso made 114 appearances for Spain, but his 100th appearance was the most memorable one, when he scored both of Spain's goals against France to send his team to the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

    He retired after Spain failed to progress from the group stages of the 2014 World Cup.

    The current Bayer Leverkusen coach gets the nod ahead of Barcelona icon Sergio Busquets in this XI.

  • Xavi Spain Euro 2012

    CM: Xavi

    One of the greatest midfielders of all time, Xavi was the epitome of passing, vision, ball retention and positioning.

    Graduating from La Masia, he became a Barcelona legend and also went on to achieve massive success with the national team.

    Xavi made 133 appearances for Spain and played a key role in helping them win Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012.

    He gave two assists in the Euro 2012 final and became the first player to register assists in two separate European Championship finals.

    Xavi retired from international duty after the 2014 World Cup.

  • Andres Iniesta Spain Barcelona 2010

    LM: Andres Iniesta

    There is no way one can omit Iniesta's name while discussing the greatest creative midfielders in the history of football.

    Another La Masia graduate, he formed an unbreakable bond with Xavi in Spain's midfield, as he did at Barcelona.

    The greatest moment of his career came in the 2010 World Cup final when he scored the winning goal against Netherlands.

    At Euro 2012, Iniesta again came up with a Man of the Match performance in the final against Italy and was named the Player of the Tournament.

    If not for Messi being a footballing genius, Iniesta would have won the Ballon d'Or in 2010 and he gets the nod ahead of Manchester City legend David Silva on the left side of midfield.

  • Paco Gento Real Madrid

    FW: Paco Gento

    Possibly the greatest Spanish footballer of all time, Gento achieved legendary status for his national team as well as his club Real Madrid.

    Gento featured for Spain in the 1962 and 1966 World Cups, making 43 appearances for them between 1955 and 1969.

    His debut came in May 1955 in a 1-1 draw against England in Madrid and he went on to appear in two World Cups for Spain.

  • David Villa Spain World Cup

    FW: David Villa

    Villa made his international debut for Spain in 2005 and from thereon, he began a remarkable journey to greatness.

    The attacker participated in four major tournaments and was an integral member of the Spanish teams that won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.

    Villa scored three goals at the 2006 World Cup, was the top scorer at Euro 2008 and won the Silver Boot at the 2010 World Cup.

    Villa held the record for becoming the first-ever Spanish player to reach 50 international goals, going on to score 59 goals in just 98 appearances between 2005 to 2017 for the national team and thus edges Real Madrid icon Raul to a spot in attack.

  • Fernando Torres Spain

    FW: Fernando Torres

    'El Nino', as he was nicknamed, was a revelation when he burst on to the scene for Spain in 2003.

    Torres made his debut against Portugal and went on to make 110 appearances for Spain.

    His 38 international goals mean Torres is currently Spain's third-highest international goalscorer in history.

    The Atletico Madrid legend played six major tournaments with Spain, namely Euro 2004, 2006 World Cup, Euro 2008, 2010 World Cup, Euro 2012 and 2014 World Cup. From these six, Spain won three tournaments - in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

    His biggest contribution in a Spain shirt came at Euro 2008 when he scored the winning goal in the final.

    Torres also claimed the joint Golden Boot at Euro 2012.

    A true Spanish goalscoring machine.