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Why Spain can win Euro 2024 despite tough group - ESPN

Full disclosure: this is a column making the case that Spain can win Euro 2024 and that, in fact, it's odd that nobody seems to be naming them as dark horses. But, given football's brutal, spiteful and quixotic nature, this is also a column that admits that La Roja might, if they miss a beat, get kicked out in the group stages.

Do you find that contradictory? Well, show patience and read on.

The past is a promise written in invisible ink as far as what it actually guarantees for today. But, having said that, if you were a horse-racing expert studying Spain's form, you'd be getting excited by the following information.

Spain's past five tournaments have finished: semifinalists, Olympic silver medallists, finalists, round of 16, winners. The kind of «stayer» that horse bookies fear.

— Stream on ESPN+: NSWL, LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

In fact, it's firm evidence of an extended era where, even while coaches and players come and go, La Roja stays competitive, threatening and, last summer, able to turn potential into trophy-lifting aptitude. In case your memory is straining at the seams, this is a record which was established across Euro 2020-The Tokyo Olympics-Nations League 2021-World Cup-Nations League 2023.

Meaning that Spain, not Italy, are the last European nation to lift an international trophy — and they beat their first two Group B rivals from this tournament in order to do so.

Liking it so far? Beginning to agree that all this talk about there being no one outside the power-group of Germany, England, Portugal and France is misguided? Good: time to switch track temporarily. Temporarily because I genuinely believe that Spain are solid contenders to lift the trophy in Berlin.

But, the fact remains, they've drawn