2018 FIFA World Cup: Spain tactics

Hours away from the FIFA World Cup, Spain were dealt a huge blow as Julen Lopetegui was relieved from his coaching duties following a controversy with him taking the vacant Real Madrid managerial position.

As a result, the La Roja are now under Fernando Hierro’s guidance and the Spanish club are hoping to get the right tactics before their first game in the World Cup.

Still one of the elite teams in the competition, the Spanish club have a lot of talent in their disposal and various tactical formations are suitable for them to effectively beat their opponents en route to their second World Cup.

Below are suggested tactics that could work out for the Spanish national team under Hierro.


While the squad is deep with talent, the goalkeeping duties are almost automatically given to Manchester United’s David de Gea. The 27-year-old shot stopper has had an incredible season so far and his performances have been raved all over Europe.

In front of him should be the partnership of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique who are likely to feature in all World Cup matches for Spain. The duo are two of the best defenders in the world and their size and football IQ are second to none.

Beside them are Dani Carvajal who can join the defence from the right, while Jordi Alba will man the left-back position for the La Roja.

Just ahead of them is arguably the best defensive midfielder in the game today, Sergio Busquets. He is tasked to keep the ball in the midfield for Spain’s creativity to shine while also ensuring the team keeps their shape and composure to prevent from any counter-attacks.

Beside him are Andres Iniesta and Koke who are capable of linking the midfield to the offence and their creativity on the ball should slice through the defences to bring the ball to the final third.

Isco, Marco Asensio and Diego Costa are the three attackers on the final third of the pitch, with the Atletico Madrid man in the middle as the his two compatriots create havoc from both sides.


If a more conservative approach is needed, then a 4-3-3 formation will also fit the Spanish side when they go up against their rivals in the World Cup.

As always, the keeper duties stay with De Gea, and the four defenders mentioned above will also keep their roles as they are the best line-up that Hierro can put together on the defensive end.

Much of the change may be done in the midfield, with Busquets remaining as the central midfielder, moving a bit forward to help with the attack.

This time, two new players may be introduced to play alongside him, David Silva can replace Iniesta, while Thiago Alcantara is a welcome replacement for Koke on the right side of the flank.

Much like the back line, the front three of Spain remain intact and expect the partnership among the three players to produce a number of goals for the team.


Arguably the most balanced and effective formation, the 4-4-2 may also be seen as an effective tactic for Spain especially when they want to maintain a certain flow to the game.

The defensive end of the pitch remains the same, but the midfield and attack will be different as it adds on a new dimension to how Spain approach the match-up.

This time, Spain utilise two defensive midfielders with Koke and Busquets occupying the middle of the field. This ensures that they thwart any counter-attack that their opponents might try against them.

Isco should be on the left flank and will be given the freedom to join the attack when needed, while the right wing could feature Lucas Vazquez who can do a lot of damage as well.

Bringing in two strikers adds more threat as Costa can now be joined by Iago Aspas as the latter can play a more supporting role just behind the Atletico man.

Spain may not have started the World Cup well with a coaching change, but they have a team filled with experience and they may use it as motivation to do damage.