In a country that has a bit of a two-horse race complex when it comes to the league title, it’s not a surprise to see most of the Spain squad for the World Cup comprised of players who play at the “big two”. In fact, league runners-up Barcelona have contributed ten (10!) current players to the 23 – and they are better than their performance in Budapest would suggest.
To say the squad has changed since Canada 2015 would be an understatement, the team leading a mini revolt after a disappointing tournament to oust long-time coach Ignacio Quereda. The Jorge Vilda era one with, maybe, more promise than success. The old guard has long-since been retired with the peripheral and youthful players who went to Canada having moved up the pecking order to make up the bulk of the squad, a long line of successful Spanish youth players waiting for their own progression into the A team. Young players like Patri Guijarro, Aitana Bonmatí, Nahikari García, Lucía García ones who could make their full breakthroughs on the international stage this year.
Tipped for big things at the 2017 Euros, the squad fell at the first knock-out, frustrated and unstuck against Austria – a match that should have been won with ease, taken all the way to penalties which saw them eliminated. Spain’s ability at senior level in major tournaments the biggest question left to be answered by Vilda, the team more than capable on paper, this summer will be the biggest test for the 37-year-old coach.
Goalkeepers: Lola Gallardo (Atlético Madrid), Sandra Paños (Barcelona), Sun Quiñones (Real Sociedad)
Defenders: Irene Paredes (Paris Saint-Germain)., Marta Torrejón (Barcelona), Andrea Pereira (Barcelona), Mapi León (Barcelona), Leila Ouahabi (Barcelona), Marta Corredera (Levante), Ivana Andrés (Levante), Celia Jiménez (Seattle Reign)
Midfielders: Silvia Meseguer (Atlético Madrid), Amanda Sampedro (Atlético Madrid), Jenni Hermoso (Atlético Madrid), Vicky Losada (Barcelona), Patri Guijarro (Barcelona), Alexia Putellas (Barcelona), Aitana Bonmatí (Barcelona), Virginia Torrecilla (Montpellier HSC).
Attackers: Andrea Falcón (Atlético Madrid), Mariona Caldentey (Barcelona), Nahikari García (Real Sociedad), Lucía García (Athletic Club).