EURO 2016: Five Spain stars to watch

Spain have been reigning European champions since 2008, that’s some going! And in between their last two tournament wins, they also picked up a little trophy knowns as the World Cup…

Now, signature stars, including Andres Iniesta, Sergio Ramos and Xavi, are ageing though, and are no longer able to dominate the way they did in years past. The Spaniards’ disappointing outcome in the 2014 World Cup marked the beginning of the team’s potential demise.

Diego Costa is the side’s best goalscorer, but he’s been left out of the EURO squad. Sergio Ramos is still one of the most commanding centre backs in the world, however, his potential to be at full fitness is unknown after dealing with a shoulder injury – without Ramos’ presence in the back, defensive stability could be problematic. Koke and Cesc Fabregas provide skill in the middle of the field, but neither performed to their normal level for their clubs last season.

Still, no other team has this squad’s experience playing, and succeeding, in marquee games, while, in addition, David Da Gea is one of the world’s top goalies. The Spaniards’ uncanny ability to possess the ball is still intact, but goalscoring potential is limited.

Reigning as champions for the past two EUROs places a target on the Spaniards’ backs. With Germany’s meteoric rise and a host of other young, budding teams improving, Spain’s chances of making it a third straight championship will be very difficult.

Alas, here are FIVE talented players in their ranks worth keeping an eye on…

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