We made eight unique midfield trios to prove how ridiculous Spain’s squad depth is

We made eight unique midfield trios to prove how ridiculous Spain’s squad depth is

Spain have a lot of talent in their squad, particularly in their midfield.

Everyone knows Spain’s midfield is their strength, especially after their golden age where Xavi ruled the roost and Spain attacked and defended through their midfield’s mastery of the ball. Things aren’t quite that incredible these days, but even after the international retirements of Andrés Iniesta and David Silva, Spain’s midfield is still a powerhouse unit beyond compare.

In an effort to prove just how ridiculously blessed Spain are in terms of midfielders, we’ve come up with a list of unique midfield trios. We’ll start with their first-choice three, and then work down from there. Never repeating a player, and kept on going until we reached a midfield that probably wouldn’t be able to compete.

How far did we get? Who was where? Read on and find out!

1. Busquets, Saúl, Thiago

Sergio Busquets: 108 caps

Saúl Ñíguez11 caps

Thiago Alcantara: 31 caps

Luis Enrique selected this midfield against England and it’s easy to see why as it is supremely balanced.

Sergio Busquets is the best midfielder in the world (or second-best, depending on how you rate Luka Modric) and is a masterful controller of space and time. He runs the show from the base whilst Thiago is the playmaker further forward; the Bayern man carries the ball between the lines and plays killer passes to the forwards.

Then there’s Saúl, one of the most complete players on the planet whose energy, drive and goalscoring adds a serious cutting edge to the Barcelona-bred passmasters.

2. Rodri, Roberto, Isco

Rodri: 1 cap

Sergi Roberto: 4 caps

Isco: 32 caps

Behind the starters, we have this phenomenally talented trio. Rodri is the heir apparent to Busquets and would operate at the base of midfield in a similar way to the Catalan starter. Ahead of him, Isco is obviously a wizard of a footballer, but as a true no. 10 his presence would need to be offset by a true workhorse: enter Sergi Roberto. One of Luis Enrique’s favourites, Roberto would be the fuel to make this technically gifted midfield fly.

3. Herrera, Mata, Fabregas

Ander Herrera: 2 caps

Juan Mata: 41 caps

Cesc Fabregas: 110 caps

Looking to the Premier League benches, it’s easy to forget that these three both exist and are also kind of terrific. Ander Herrera is subtly brilliant as a defensive midfielder and would partner Cesc Fabregas at the base of midfield to move the ball around. Fabregas’ passing range would unleash Juan Mata between the lines where he could cause havoc.

4. Martinez, Koke, Parejo

Javi Martinez: 18 caps

Koke: 43 caps

Dani Parejo: 1 cap

Javi Martinez has never quite become the colossus he could have done because of injuries, but on his day he’s still world-class. With Martinez as the anchor, Dani Parejo and Koke would be confident pushing high (and Koke wide) where they could focus on threading through-balls and taking long-range shots at goal. This midfield is also seriously set-piece proficient.

5. Llorente, Fabian, Ceballos

Marcos Llorente: 0 caps

Fabian Ruiz: 0 caps

Dani Ceballos: 0 caps

This midfield is short on experience but long on talent. Marcos Llorente is descended from footballing royalty and showed on loan at Alavés that he’s a star in the making (if Madrid would just play him!) whilst Fabian Ruiz and Dani Ceballos are sensational do-it-all midfield talents produced by Real Betis. This trio would dance around you for fun and if you did get the ball off them they would fight like hell to win it back.

6. Illarramendi, Trigueros, Cazorla

Asier Illarramendi: 3 caps

Manu Trigueros: 0 caps

Santi Cazorla: 77 caps

Asier Illarramendi is a superb holding midfielder, capable of keeping the ball rotating in a heavy possession system. Next to him, Manu Trigueros is the kind of box-to-box dynamo that would cover for Illarramendi’s lack of mobility and provide the thrust that would allow Santi Cazorla to stride around the pitch clipping passes, creating plays and just generally being wonderful – all with a permanent beaming smile stretched across his face, of course.

7. Zubeldia, Roque Mesa, Viera

Igor Zubeldia: 0 caps

Roque Mesa: 0 caps

Jonathan Viera: 1 cap

Igor Zubeldia may well be the next big thing out of the Basque Country. An immense defensive midfield prospect to add some steel behind the phenomenal pass-masters from Las Palmas circa 2016/17. Roque Mesa is the metronome who runs the show and gives Jonathan Viera license to play between the lines with total freedom to wreak havoc.

8. Camacho, Granell, Fornals

Ignacio Camacho: 1 cap

Alex Granell: 0 caps

Pablo Fornals: 1 cap

Ignacio Camacho was and is a relentlessly solid defensive midfielder. Not spectacular, but superb at winning the ball back. Put him and Girona’s Alex Granell in to manage midfield from the base and thus give the mercurial Pablo Fornals the ability to play comfortably in a midfield three without worrying too much about defending. Fornals is a sensational creative player and when unleashed, he could do wonderful things.