Spain head to Brazil 2008 looking for their third consecutive FIFA Futsal World Cup crown. On top of their two world titles, La Furia Roja can also point to a runners-up finish at the 1996 event on home soil and four European titles (1996, 2001, 2005 and 2007). Spanish futsal is also buoyant at club level, with the country's teams enjoying considerable success in international competitions and very healthy attendances for domestic league action.
Current coach Venancio Lopez took over from his all-conquering predecessor Javier Lozano in September 2007 and has so far overseen a seamless transition. The first major challenge for the new man in charge was the UEFA Futsal Championship in Portugal in December 2007, a test he passed with flying colours as Spain successfully defended their European crown. Next up were some impressive displays in FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifying. Group opponents Croatia and Georgia were eased aside 3-1 and 13-1 respectively, ahead of a 13-1 aggregate success over Bosnia Herzegovina in the two-legged final qualifier.
La Selección, top-three finishers at the last four editions of the global showpiece, are certain to be among the favourites once more at Brazil 2008, along with the host nation. "Our prime objective is to reach the Final, and once there, we want to win the title again if at all possible. Our team's philosophy is based on working hard and not living in the past, because what the future holds is increasingly difficult. Our rivals are improving and strengthening their squads significantly. We intend to do everything we can to evolve faster than they do," says Spain coach Venancio Lopez.
Facts and figures
Jesus (1992, 1996, 2000) Javi Rodriguez (1996, 2000, 2004), Daniel (2000), Julio (1996, 2000, 2004), Javier Orol (2000, 2004).
Luis Amado (goalkeeper), Kike (stopper), Marcelo (pivot), Andreu (flank player).
4 wins, 29 goals scored and 3 conceded.
The numbers game
2 - world titles won, at Guatemala 2000 and Chinese Taipei 2004.