On Wednesday night Fabio Capello takes his England team to Seville for a friendly against Vicente Del Bosque’s Spanish team, currently ranked number one in FIFA’s World Rankings.
England’s previous fixture saw success in Munich over the Euro 2008 runners-up Germany, and the team will be looking to go one better this time against the European Champions.
The match will be England’s fourth friendly against their Spain since 2000, and will be the 22nd meeting of the two nations overall.
The Three Lions currently have the edge in the match-up, their record standing at eleven wins and seven defeats with three draws.
Twelve of the games have been played in Spain and here the history is evenly balanced with five wins apiece and two draws. England only edge slightly ahead thanks to the virtue of having scored an extra goal in the meetings, sixteen to Spain’s fifteen.
England’s last victory on Spanish soil was back in February 1987, when Sir Bobby Robson’s team triumphed 4-2. Gary Lineker, at the time playing his club football in Spain for Barcelona, remarkably scored all four goals.
So whilst the historical statistics lean towards England having the advantage, Spain have had the better of recent meetings with four wins and a draw from the last eight encounters, including victories in the two most recent games.
These were also both friendlies, the last in February 2007 at Old Trafford when Andrés Iniesta scored the game’s only goal, his first goal for his country. Prior to that November 2004 saw England’s last visit to Spain and another 1-0 defeat, inflicted by Asier del Horno’s early goal. However, the game in the Bernabeu caught the headlines for all the wrong reasons due to the racist chanting from the Spanish crowd and provided reason for this week’s game to be switched from Madrid to Seville.
Further games of note between the two nations are Spain’s 4-3 success in 1929 which made them the first team outside of the Home Championship teams to defeat England. However, England gained their revenge two years later at Highbury with a crushing 7-1 victory which equalled Spain’s record defeat alongside a 1928 loss to Italy at the Olympics, a record that still stands today.
More recent games have seen England triumph 3-0 in a friendly at Villa Park in 2001 in Sven Goran’s Eriksson’s first match in charge as well as a disappointing scoreless draw in the Euro ’96 Quarter-Final at Wembley, a game notable for rare English success in a penalty shoot-out (pictured above, Seaman saving Nadal's penalty.)
England’s overall record vs. Spain
P21 W11 D3 L7 F38 A22
England’s overall record in Spain
P12 W5 D2 L5 F16 A15