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EURO2016: Can Spain make it a record three-in-a-row Euro titles?

The gloss may have faded from the defending champions, but here at Tribalfootball, we believe Spain still has a shot at glory at Euro2016.

The only ever back-to-back winners after disposing of Germany at Euro2008 and obliterating Italy at Euro2012, La Roja will be looking to bounce back from a pitiful performance at the 2014 World Cup.

Their first-round exit shocked many, and the presumed knock-on effect was that the ageing side had relinquished its stranglehold on world football.

Unfortunately for their rivals, the squad still possesses the majority of the players that made the Spain side of the early decade arguably the greatest of all-time.

There have been some questions over Spain's potency up front. Big names like Diego Costa, Fernando Torres and leading goal scorer in qualifying, Paco Alcacer, were all left out of the squad by manager Vicente Del Bosque.

What is clear is that Spain does not rely upon a hit man to push them through tournaments. In their 2008 triumph, David Villa led the team with four goals, and in 2012, Torres top scored with just three.

Spain's past triumphs have eventuated through the implementation and execution of a style of football that was subsequently copied throughout the world.

Will the champions of ball retention, off-the-ball movement and creativity triumph again at Euro2016?...

…We think they will surely go close.


Spain
(La Roja)

HEAD COACH: Vicente Del Bosque

TRIBAL'S TOP 3: David De Gea, Sergio Busquets, Andreas Iniesta

WILDCARD: Nolito. In a team full of elegant passers, the 29-year-old may bring a different spark for Spain at Euro2016. The Celta Vigo forward is full of confidence at the moment, scoring braces against Bosnia and South Korea in recent friendlies, and his ability to score and deliver balls from wide areas will be a valuable asset.

HISTORY: Spain has won the Euros in 1964, 2008 and 2012. Runners-up, coincidentally, in France against France in 1984.


EURO OVERVIEW

Spain won't face the level of teams that saw them bow out of the first round of the World Cup. Alongside the likes of Turkey, Croatia and Czech Republic, Spain will most likely top Group D.

From there, the Spaniards should remain relatively untested, with predicted clashes against Iceland in the Round of 16 and Poland in the quarter-finals.

Spain's attacking prowess will then be put firmly to the test, with a likely match up against the miserly defence of Italy in the semi-finals.

Although Italy's defence will be formidable, Spain's bevy of creative players could prove to be too much for Conte and co.

Spain's run to the final could lead them to a match up with tournament favourites and hosts, France. Unfortunately for Spain, the overwhelming home support could be enough to push Les Blues over the line, just as it occurred in the Euro1984 final in Paris.

Taking a look at the Spanish squad, it is clear why they may breeze through the tournament with relative ease.

David De Gea has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and is likely to oust long-time number one Iker Casillas, while the familiar pairing of El Clasico rivals, Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique, solidifies the defence.

The under-appreciated Sergio Busquests will once again be pivotal to his country's success. Playing as a holding midfielder alongside Thiago Alcantara, the Barcelona stalwart provides cover for his defenders, while also being the first step in attack.

Throw in Cesc Fabegras, David Silva and the revitalized Andreas Iniesta, and Spain's midfield oozes class and experience. The 32-year-old Iniesta was named Player of the Tournament at Euro2012 and his renewed form with Barcelona this season shows he is capable of repeating the feat.

Juventus' Alvaro Morata will most likely be the starting striker up front, and although his not in the richest vein of goal scoring form, the 23-year-old specializes in bringing his teammates into the game.

They made history when they became the first ever back-to-back winners in 2012. Now Spain look to complete an unprecedented three-peat, something that is certainly not out of their reach.


TRIBAL'S FINAL SAY:
Finalists

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Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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