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Has Spain Become a Legitimate World Cup Contender?

Has Spain become a legitimate World Cup Contender? Spain have been flying under the radar entering this World Cup, with the United States and England the heavy two favorites to win it all. However, Spain displayed a brilliant performance against Costa Rica that has made other teams worried about their talent. 

Every player with the exception of Jennifer Hermoso, play in the domestic Spanish league. Ten of those players played for the Champions League winning Barcelona. Despite current Ballon d’or winner Alexia Putellas, the big star heading into the tournament is Aintanna Bonmatti. In 37 appearances last season, she scored 19 while continuing to lead her Barcelona team. 

Another player to watch out for on the team is Teresa Abelleira. She currently plays for Real Madrid and has been one of the best midfielders in this tournament thus far. Abelleira created 10 chances against Costa Rica while also producing 22 crosses in one match. In 27 games in all competitions with Real Madrid, she has scored seven goals with four assists

The lineup against Costa Rica featured four players from Barcelona, with Putellas making a surprise appearance off the bench. The scoreline, however, does not reflect how good Spain performed. They managed to total 46 shots, with 12 on target while completing 513 passes. The possession they kept was unstoppable, limiting Costa Rica to just 70 passess all match.

The Tiki Taki football that we love to see in the men’s game is in full display in this Spain team that will make them look extremely dangerous. Since the European Qualifiers, Spain maintained a seven-match undefeated streak. Within that run, they have scored 30 goals while conceding only five goals.

The big question for Spain is if they can dominate the bigger nations. Despite being better now, they were knocked out of the quarterfinals by eventual winners England in the European Championship. Spain have yet to be tested and questions arise if they will be able to keep their possession-based style of play.

According to Fox Sports current Power Rankings, Spain sits atop, with Germany, Brazil and the United States to follow. They will have another easy match against Zambia, with Japan as their only competitors in the group. All eyes will now be on La Roja to see how they fare throughout the tournament and bring home a World Cup for the first time in their history. 

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