Atletico Madrid's Jorge "Koke" Resurrecion celebrates after scoring a goal against Real Madrid during their Spanish first division soccer match at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid March 2, 2014
Talisman: Atletico Madrid's Jorge "Koke" Resurrecion celebrates after scoring a goal against Real Madrid Reuters

Manager: Vicente del Bosque.

World Ranking: 1.

How they qualified: Spain topped Group I ahead of France after winning eight games and drawing just two. They head to Brazil as defending champions.

World Cup Best: Winners in 2010.

Fixtures: Group B – Netherlands (13 June), Chile (18 June), Australia (23 June).


Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, David De Gea.

Defenders: Cesar Azpilicueta, Juanfran Torres, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Javi Martinez, Raul Albiol, Jordi Alba.

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez, Koke Resurreccion, Andres Iniesta, Santi Cazorla, Cesc Fabregas, David Silva, Juan Mata.

Forwards: David Villa, Pedro Rodriguez, Diego Costa, Fernando Torres.

Expectations: In Brazil the Spanish team will be defending its world title won four years ago while also consolidating its status as the best footballing nation in the world. They will try to reach similar heights they did in South Africa, when La Roja lifted the World Cup for the first time ever – this marked the end of the quarter-finals' curse to announce the golden age of Spanish football.

But it will be very complicated given the strong competition expected from Brazil, Germany and Argentina. So expectations are high and the goal is definitely to set the bar even higher from a team with a winning spirit – Spain have participated in 13 editions of the competition and Brazil 2014 will be the 14th, a tenth consecutive participation.

Star man: Koke Resurreccion – Spain are a team above all. From Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Iniesta, David Villa to Diego Costa.

But Koke's appearance in the senior team was a breath of fresh air for Del Bosque's side. The Atletico Madrid midfielder has stood out in the last La Liga campaign to merit his place in the squad. The 22-year-old established himself at Atletico Madrid in the 2012/13 season and has since become a sensation, operating both as a playmaker and in a deeper role and has been influential in their march to the title and the Champions League final.

So given the drop in Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso's performances, Koke will have the opportunity to take center stage in a team with the hunger to keep making history.

Prediction: Group stage – Spain are expected to win the group although Netherlands have not forgotten that huge blow suffered against the Spaniards in the South Africa final and will be seeking revenge.