Road to Colombia
Having been given a bye to the main round of European qualifying, Spain won their group in style thanks to emphatic victories over Latvia (7-0), Bosnia-Herzegovina (8-1) and the Netherlands (7-1). However, they were made to sweat in the play-offs, falling to a 1-0 first-leg loss to Slovenia, which ended their 27-game unbeaten run. They avoided a massive upset by prevailing 5-1 in the return match, even if the victory was not as one-sided as the scoreline might suggest.
Strengths and style
Now in his ninth year at the helm, Venancio Lopez has kept Spain at the top of international futsal by marrying youth, experience and a winning mentality in his squads. In this respect, Juanjo, Ortiz and Fernando – all veterans of two FIFA Futsal World Cups – remain important figures. At the same time, players who made their tournament debuts at Thailand 2012 have taken a step up, including the likes of Aicardo, Lozano and Miguelin, the last of whom was the team's leading scorer in qualifying. Raul Campos and Alex, meanwhile, are notable newer faces.
FIFA Futsal World Cup record
To call Spain one of the game's powerhouses would be an understatement: they are the only country to have denied Brazil total dominance at the Futsal World Cup. Not only have they graced every edition of the competition, but they have been finalists on the last five occasions, being crowned champions twice. La Roja broke the Canarinho's stranglehold by triumphing at Guatemala 2000 and then retained their title at Chinese Taipei 2004, although they also lost to the serial winners in the final on home territory in 1996, at Brazil 2008 and at Thailand 2012. They have only once failed to make it beyond the first round, at the inaugural event (Netherlands 1989), while they finished third at Hong Kong 1992.