Spain has been one of the most dominant teams in football over the last decade. La Roja dominated the international footballing realm between 2008 and 2012, winning the World Cup and two European championships. Read on to find out more about the Best Spanish Players in 2021.
2021 can be considered as a successful and bright year for Spain's national football. They proceeded to the semi-finals of EURO 2020 – which was held in 2021 after being postponed for 1 year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although they were eliminated by the eventual champions,Italy
, after accepting a 4 – 2 defeat in the penalties, many would assume Spain to be the more competent than Azzurri to take part in the final match, and even winning the trophy.
In addition to the success of Spanish national team, 2021 was the break – through year for some young Spanish talents who shined in their clubs.
Furthermore, Chelsea won the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League while having Spanish players on the pitch, andManchester City
won the Premier League alongside reaching the final of the Champions League with the contributions of Spanish players.
Spain has consistently produced some of the finest technicians that the game has ever seen. The Spanish top-flight, known as La Liga, is known for its aesthetically pleasing brand of football.
Following the passage of their golden generation, Spain have struggled a bit in recent times. They had not been able to make much of an impact starting from the 2014 World Cup up until this summer.
They gave a good account of themselves at the recently concluded Euro 2020 and it looks like they're slowly getting back on their feet again. Without further ado, let's take a look at five of the best Spanish players in the world right now.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the best Spanish players in 2021, whose individual performances have been eye catching throughout the year on club and international level. Read on to find about the
best Spanish football players
and a brief overview of their career in 2021.
Full name: Pedro González López
Date of birth: 25 November 2002 (age 19)
Place of birth: Tegueste, Spain
Height: 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Position(s): Central midfielder
The 19 – year – old was indubitably the most luminous Spanish player during the past year. He suddenly became one of the FC Barcelona's key players, and he was included in the team's line – up regularly.
The young talent featured in 37 out of 38 La Liga games for Blaugrana in 2020/21, within which he managed to score 3 goals and provide 3 assists.
Moreover, he played in 7 Champions League games, 6 Copa del Rey matches, and 2 Spanish Super Cup matches, which makes the total number of his appearances forFC Barcelona
52 during one single season, more than any other player. In addition, he helped his club to the conquest of their 31st Copa del Rey.
The tireless midfielder was immediately called up for international duty to Spain national team by Luis Enrique for EURO 2020. The tournament was the peak of his outstanding performances through the year, where he was named the Young player of the Tournament.
broke some records upon taking part in the EURO 2020: he became the youngest player ever to represent Spain at the European Championships by playing in their opening match against Sweden at the age of 18 years, 6 months and 18 days.
Moreover, on 28th of June, Pedri became the youngest player ever to play in a knock-out game at the European Championships when he started in the round of 16 match against Croatia, aged 18 years and 215 days. He was a regular starter and not – to – be – substituted player for the manager.
Although the new rules allowed the teams to make 5 substitutions during each match, Pedri was one of the players to stay on the pitch until the final whistle – however, he was subbed off in the 119th minute of their quarter – final match against Switzerland, but does that really count?
In addition, he completed 65 pass out of his total 66 passes against Italy in the semi – final match, and that was one of the most astonishing performances of a midfielder throughout the tournament. He was the only Spanish player to be named in the Team of the Tournament.
Immediately after the EURO 2020, the promising player was called up to the
Spain football squad 2021
for Tokyo Olympics. Spain proceeded to the final match of the Olympics and faced a 2 – 1 defeat against Brazil. That final game was Pedri's 73rd of the season.
He is a creative and versatile player who is known by pundit to be one of the most promising players in the world, and he was definitely one of the
best Spanish players in 2021
. He is good at finding spaces, exploiting gaps, and sending penetrating passes.
Moreover, Pedri's control on the ball, his ability in dribbling, and intelligence has made his style of play be more mature than his actual age. Spain and Barcelona fans are lucky to have the young talent, and based on current circumstances, we are going to hear a lot more about Pedri in the upcoming years.
“Pedri will become one of the best players in Spain’s history,” saidAlvaro Morata
. “I was amazed by Pedri. Both Pedri andEric García
. He had a difficult year and I looked at him, giving a very high level in the national team. And you see Pedri, he plays and seems to be 40 years old.
“There are people and players who need a long time to manage emotions, manage pressure and become strong in some things and there are others who take it as standard.
“You cannot buy that, you can improve over time. The personality and attitude you have. .. there are few who have it. Hopefully, he will be lucky with the injuries because he will undoubtedly be one of the best players in the history of Spain.”
Full name: César Azpilicueta Tanco
Date of birth: 28 August 1989 (age 32)
Place of birth: Pamplona, Spain
Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s): Right-back / Centre-back
Chelsea's captain,Cesar Azpilicueta
, spent one of the most memorable years of his career, and he was one of the
best Spanish players in 2021
On 24 August 2012, Chelsea completed the signing of Azpilicueta for an undisclosed fee, reported as £7 million. Azpilicueta scored his first competitive goal for Chelsea on 29 October 2013, netting the first in a 2–0 victory atArsenal
in the fourth round of the League Cup.
Azpilicueta, has been one of the best and most loyal players to have ever played at Stamford Bridge. He has thrived under every manager during his time and been a great servant to the club for more than eight years.
In an exclusive with Chelsea Football Club, Azpilicueta said, "I was under contract at Marseille, but as soon as I know a great club like Chelsea were interested in signing me, I tried to move to the side trying to get an agreement between the clubs."
Azpilicueta revealed his pleasure of captaining Chelsea and Spain after he captained his country for the first time. He wore the armband for Spain for the first time in his side's 4-0 win over Georgia in their World Cup qualifiers clash.
He lifted the UEFA Champions League trophy as Chelsea beat fellow English club Manchester City in the final match, while the 32 – year – old defender was one of the pivotal players on their way to their 2nd ever UEFA Champions League title.
He played in 11 of Chelsea's 13 total games during the tournament. Moreover, Azpilicueta featured in 26 Premier League games for the Blues of London, and played a vital role in finishing the league in the 4th place.
Furthermore, he was also a part of Spain football squad 2021 in the EURO 2020, and he played as the right back in the 4 final matches of their total 6 games in the competition.
"If you have a guy so humble, so full of quality, so ready to give everything for the team, to have the mentality of a water carrier, to help everyone on and off the pitch, a smile every day in training, every time ready, it's a gift for every manager and in my belief for every team,"Tuchel
said about Azpilicueta.
Full name: Mikel Oyarzabal Ugarte
Date of birth: 21 April 1997 (age 24)
Place of birth: Eibar, Spain
Height: 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s): Winger, forward
The 24 – year – old winger was another player who had a successful season, and just like Pedri he was a part of both Spain football squad 2021 for the European Championship as well as their squad for Tokyo Olympics games.
He also captained the team in the latter. He scored 3 goals and provided 2 assists throughout 6 games in the Olympics and played the pivotal role in achieving the silver medal.
Furthermore, Real Sociedad's winger had a bright year on club level: Oyarzabal scored 11 goals and assisted 8 within 33 La Liga games in 2020/21 as his club stood 5th in the table and qualified for the Europe League.
Oyarzabal's two glorious assists in the semifinal, and goal in the final, against the European and world champions respectively in Nations League, not only keep him on track for a ridiculously successful year, they mark him down as prime Basque beef. Clubs, not least Manchester City, are going to come calling.
He scored the winning penalty to put Spain in the Euro 2020 semifinal having clinched the previous game, against Croatia, by adding Spain's fifth goal against the World Cup runners-up.
More importantly, Real Sociedad won their 2nd ever Copa del Rey in 2019/20, which despite its name, the final match betweenReal Sociedad
and Athleti club was held in 2021, not in 2020, due to the postpone because of the outbreak of the Corona Virus.
Nicknamed "Bigfoot" because he squeezes those talent-blessed feet into size 13 boots, Oyarzabal was given his Real Sociedad debut, aged 18, by David Moyes in a 4-0 win atLevante
"I've got a fantastic memory of seeing him," Oyarzabal explained during Euro 2020. "As soon as my dad watched a match where David played for us, he told me 'this guy has something completely different: he'll be here for maximum one season and he'll be gone.
We have to enjoy him.' And so it was, and the rest of his career has been the same. So much enjoyment, and now I've got the privilege of sharing the same dressing room as him. I want to keep learning and, hopefully, winning together."
"Often people only see the beautiful side of football, but behind the facade, many of us suffer," said Oyarzabal during Spain's Nations League run. "There's no question that we're privileged to be able to do what we love, but it can be a solitary life; it can cause a release of emotions in good or bad times, which cause tears.
"Here in Spain, we became a little over-accustomed to victory. Many just assumed it was far, far easier than it actually is. That golden generation which preceded us made it appear that we should be getting to a final and winning all the time. Success hypnotizes the fans a little bit.
"I guess it's better to grow complacent because of an era of success than never experience the success, but now that we are trying to match their achievements, all of us in the squad realize, acutely, exactly how hard one has to work to achieve international success. Or that any so-called smaller national team can give the 'favorites' a fright."
Full name: Ferran Torres García
Date of birth: 29 February 2000 (age 21)
Place of birth: Foios, Spain
Height: 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Another player on the list of the
best Spanish players in 2021
who plays in the English Premier League is Manchester City's attackerFerran Torres
. The 21 – year – old winger joined the Citizens in the summer of 2020 with a transfer fee of €23.00m from Valencia, and Pep Guardiola has shown great faith in him since then.
The Man City youngster signed fromValencia
last summer in a cut-price £20m deal and enjoyed a good debut season under Pep Guardiola. City invested a great amount in Torres when luring him away from Valencia and added him to a squad loaded with attacking talent. He featured in a total of 36 games for Manchester City during the 2020/21 season, scored 13 goals and provided 3 assists.
He helped them reach the final match of the UEFA Champions League, as well as winning the Premier League and the Carabao Cup. Torres has started the new season with a good form as well, where he has scored 2 goals and 1 assists within 4 Premier League games.
Moreover, regarded as one of the
best current Spanish players
, Ferran Torres took part in all of Spain's 6 games during the EURO 2020: 4 as a starter and 2 as a substitute. He scored 2 goals and provided 1 assists within the competition, which is an astounding number for a player who isn't naturally a focal point of attack.
Torres scored twice against the reigning Euro 2020 champions, once with a delightful cushioned volley and a second headed effort as Spain raced into the lead in the Nations League semi-final.
After his brilliant performance at Euro 2020, Man City fans were convinced that they already have a striker who is just as good in their squad, and urged the club to give him a run of games up front.
With regard to his age, he is one of the most promising players in the current generation who is expected to become one of the greatest players in the world if he keeps progressing, and Spain and Man City fans are looking forward to seeing him get better every season.
Torres has become an "undisputed favorite" for Luis Enrique and Spain with his performances for the national team. Those performances saw his prominence in the Spain setup under the former Barcelona head coach rise, and a subsequent return of six goals in 2021 means Torres has cemented himself as a regular in the starting lineup going forward.
Torres is reading little into reports suggesting that Manchester City could allow him to join Barcelona on loan in January, with the Spain international pointing out that “there are always rumors”.
The City forward is a player who has registered on the radars of Barca andReal Madrid
since bursting onto a senior stage at Valencia.
Clasico rivals were unable to do a deal when a big-money move was made in 2020, as City won that race, but a stint at Camp Nou is being speculated on again ahead of the winter transfer window.
However, Torres commented, “There are always rumors, a thousand come out every day. He added on his experience in England, “Now I am enjoying being able to go out more to see Manchester, it is a city in which there are things to do. The only downside I would put is the weather.”
He believes his development is being well served by the coaches he works under, and there are plenty to learn fromPep Guardiola
“I am a sponge and I am learning a lot from both of them, I feel very lucky. I think I have a lot of room for improvement and I am lucky to be with two of the best coaches in the world who are teaching me and I am learning from them.”
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