Spain, where football is a religion. The Spanish team is one of the most successful in the world, with many stars and lots potential, regardless of the tournament. Here’s a quick overview of the players, vocabulary and traditions that make this team (and the country!) tick. tick.
1. The stars
There are many stars in Spain’s national team and it can be difficult to pick the best. Even the players on the bench are excellent players for teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Andres Iniesta – Position: Midfielder, Club: FC Barcelona
David De Geo – Position: Goalkeeper, Club: Manchester United
Sergio Ramos – Position: Defender, Club: Real Madrid
Marco Asensio – Position: Forward, Club: Real Madrid
Gerard Pique – Position: Defender, Club: FC Barcelona
David Silva Position: Midfielder, Club Manchester City
2. Style: “Tititaka”
Tikitaka refers to the Spanish team’s unique style of play. It involves short passes, keeping possession and moving the ball through different channels. This is believed to be the secret to their incredible success over the past years.
3. The coach
Julen Lopetegui was a goalkeeper for Real Madrid and Barcelona in the 90’s and represented Spain at the 1994 World Cup. He has coached Spain’s Under 18’s and Under 21’s, and led them to many titles. After a disappointing performance in the last Euro against Italy, he has been the Spanish National Team’s coach since 2016.
4. Football vocabulary “en Espanol”.
Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese. Many players speak Spanish as their mother tongue. Here’s a list of common terms in football en Espanol.
Fuera de juego – Offside
Delantero – Striker
Defensa – Defender
Tanda de penaltis – Penalty shoot-out
Tiempo anadido – Extra time
Tiro libre (falta) – Free kick
Saque de esquina – Corner kick
5. You can watch the games
Official sponsors and local councils often place huge screens in cities centers to allow people to watch and support La Roja (or The Red One, as the Spanish team goes by) important games. Many giant screens are located around Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid’s stadium. Hundreds of thousands gather there every year. The Fan Park is known for hosting half a million people!
6. Chant with them
“Yo soy espanol! espanol! espanol!” – This was the most popular chant of 2010.
“!A por, ellos!” (It stands for “Let’s beat them”) This chant has been a favorite since 2006. It is meant to motivate and inspire the team.
“!Que Vive Espana!” – This song can be sung to support the team as well as when they are winning or playing well. This song is based on Manolo Escobar’s song.
7. Celebrate the “red tide”
Spanish citizens celebrate victories by running to the streets when they see them. In Madrid, there are fountains such as Cibeles for Real Madrid wins or Neptuno for Atletico de Madrid victories. The Red Tide, a nickname for red-clad Spanish fans, heads to Barcelona’s Canaletas Fountain. Spain will win again! The team will celebrate with the RED Tide, thanking them for their support, and riding on buses to the Canaletas Fountain.