Spain could beat stunning feat managed during 2010 World Cup win and Luis Enrique thanks ‘star of world football’ Gavi who was five when they lifted trophy

    It may still be fresh in the mind of older football fans, but Spain’s 7-0 destruction of Costa Rica highlighted just how long ago their only World Cup win was.

    The European heavyweights took home top honours in 2010 in South Africa in the middle of an unprecedented stretch of international football dominance.

    5. Only seven of Spain’s 2010 World Cup winning squad were named in the 23-man group who took on Ukraine and Luxembourg in Euro 2016 qualifying in October.

    Spain went all the way in 2010

    But this year they’ve almost topped that goal tally in a single game

    But this year they’ve almost topped that goal tally in a single game

    Coming in between back-to-back European championship wins it was Spain’s biggest achievement, and first under Vicente del Bosque, but it was far from vintage.

    Euro 2008 was all about vintage ‘El Nino’ Fernando Torres and Euro 2012 was prime Barcelona, but the one in between was a bit of a slog.

    Highlighted by Andreas Iniesta’s emotional winner against the Netherlands and Nigel de Jong’s kung-fu kick on Xabi Alonso, Spain did things the hard way.

    A campaign that began with a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland, Spain’s knockout run saw four 1-0 wins from four, meaning they ended the tournament on eight goals, the sixth most in the competition.

    This year though, they’re already on seven after Luis Enrique awakened the team with a brilliant brand of attacking football that completely overwhelmed a poor Costa Rica side.

    Integral to that was Barcelona’s Gavi, who scored the fifth and arguably best goal of the hammering.

    Gavi is set for the very top

    Gavi is set for the very top

    The 2022 Kopa Trophy winner, who took the prize ahead of Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala, was just five when Spain won the tournament 12 years ago.

    Luis Enrique placed his faith in the young midfielder even before Barcelona had in October last year, and was again rewarded.

    “Gavi is a unique player,” he said. “He is 18 but he has the personality of an experienced player.

    “He’s a boy who needs a little bit of calm sometimes. But we are happy to have him in the team and he’s going to be one of the stars of world football.”

    Discussing his forward options, the former Barca manager continued: “We don’t have one striker who scores many goals, but we have lots of players who score goals and I have never been worried about the lack of goals.

    “We are always the highest scorers in competitions.

    “This was a very special game for us and we wanted to start the competition in the best way possible. We don’t start well [in tournaments]. We almost never win the first game, but we have managed to break that.”

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