Spain UEFA Euro 2016 Predicted Lineup: Probable Starting 11 for La Furia Roja
A look at what could be Spain's most lethal combination going into this year's Euros.
With the Euros around the corner, teams are trying their utmost to figure out their best XI. Some teams find it much harder than the others because of the plethora of talented players they possess.
Spain are one of those teams.
With an embarrassment of riches in their squad, Vicente del Bosque always finds himself in the luxurious kind of quandary. As it is, he had to leave out the likes of Saul Niguez, Isco Alarcon and Diego Costa from his squad. Now, his next headache is to choose the best XI.
The very first of his dilemma would be to choose between Iker Casillas and David De Gea.
In a pragmatic world such as this, he would most likely choose the former since dropping the captain is not something one would do as there is always a danger of controversy plaguing the team.
However, we would choose to be idealistic in our approach for this article and try to decipher Spain’s best XI in a 4-3-3 formation keeping that in mind…
This is Spain’s most difficult question. To go with the captain and legendary Iker Casillas or their best goalkeeper at the moment, David De Gea.
Not a long time ago, this wasn’t a question that needed addressing since the former Real Madrid man was the best in the world. However, since his injury and eventual snubbing from the Blancos’ starting XI by Jose Mourinho, his career has gone severely downhill and he hasn’t really been able to recover ever since.
On the other side of the coin, De Gea’s career has risen leaps and bounds. He has been Manchester United’s best player for the last 4 seasons—that too at a time of dire adversity—and it doesn’t seem like his level will drop anytime soon. Hence, he would and should be the first choice if Spain are to field their best XI.
If Spain have an Achilles heel, it is their defense. While their attack and midfield is filled with world class players, their defense doesn’t ooze the same aura or fall in the same bracket. However, their first choice backline players are as good as the best you will find in the Euros.
Dani Carvajal’s injury might have deprived Spain of its best right-back, but Hector Bellerin is a more-than-able replacement for the Real Madrid man. Even if he was a player who was called up at the very last moment to replace an injured player, and that both Juanfran and Azpilicueta are more experienced, he should be the first choice simply because his skill set is the closest match to that of Carvajal’s.
In the centre, Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique are the default first choice centre-backs. Both complement each other superbly and were the defensive pillar on which Spain’s glorious 2012 Euro win stood. Pique is coming off the back of an incredible campaign and the Real Madrid captain was the man-of-the-match in the final of the Champions League.
The left-back slot will be occupied by Jordi Alba. There could be a slight tinkering if Del Bosque opts to go with a more defensively balanced line-up, but that seems unlikely since Alba’s furious pace has become a vital part of Spain’s system.