How they qualified: The reigning world (and European) champions Spain went unbeaten in qualification, winning six times and drawing twice in a group that contained just five teams. One slightly worrying sign: they scored just 14 goals in those eight matches.
World Cup pedigree: More cursed even than England, so they said, but then Spain's golden generation – epitomised by Barcelona playmakers Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta – ended the World Cup hoodoo by going all the way in South Africa in 2010.
Main man: With such an array of riches, it's not easy to pick out one Spanish player above all. But forced to choose, we'll go with Andres Iniesta. The Barcelona midfielder scored the winning goal in the 2010 final, and he remains the master key to unlocking opposing defences. A special mention for the Barca team-mate who allows Iniesta to play with freedom: stand up, Sergio Busquets. Unpopular in the UK for his theatrical antics, he nonetheless is a world-class act.
One to watch: Bullish Atletico forward Diego Costa switched allegiance from Brazil in 2013, and is seen as the player who can help Spain overcome their shyness in front of goal. Costa is a beast and could thrive in his 'home' World Cup. A shrewd acquisition indeed.
What are their chances? They'll arrive as one of the favourites, naturally, but to win four major tournaments in a row (on the back of Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup, and Euro 2012) is a fantastically difficult task. Still, they have the talent to pull it off, though the draw did them no favours. Lost 3-0 to Brazil in the 2013 Confederations Cup final – could that have been the dress rehearsal for 2014?
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina, David De Gea