In their Group E opener on Wednesday, Spain brutally destroyed Costa Rica 7-0, kicking off their campaign to win a second World Cup.
Luis Enrique’s highly anticipated team shone at Doha’s Al Thumama Stadium, controlling possession and using their opportunities brutally, avoiding the fate of heavyweights Argentina and group opponents Germany, who earlier fell 2-1 to Japan.
Ferran Torres scored twice, and the Euro 2020 semi-finalists romped to victory with goals from Marco Asensio, Dani Olmo, Gavi, Carlos Soler, and Alvaro Morata, among others.
The 2010 World Cup champions have historically suffered as a result of their frivolity, but all three of the attackers Luis Enrique chose scored goals in the first half to justify his faith in them.
With Morata and Ansu Fati on the bench, the coach started Asensio as false nine, with Olmo and Torres on either side of him.
Aymeric Laporte and Rodri Hernandez, a midfielder for Manchester City, were placed in center defense by the head coach, who had accurately predicted that his team would control the ball.
La Roja scored their first goal after just 11 minutes. Olmo, an RB Leipzig winger, received a pass from Gavi forward and took one exquisite touch to turn and another to gently stroke the ball past Keylor Navas.
After topping their group at the 2014 World Cup by defeating Italy, Uruguay, and England and drawing with England, Costa Rica was dismantled once more ten minutes later for the second goal.
Real Madrid forward Asensio rammed home Jordi Alba’s low drilled cross past his former teammate Navas, who could have done more to block it.
Oscar Duarte fouled Alba, and Torres scored from the penalty spot to end a difficult night for Los Ticos, who were never in the game and couldn’t produce a chance on goal.
Early in the second half, Barcelona attacker Torres took advantage of more shoddy defending to score his fourth goal past Navas.
In order to rest Pedri and Torres for Sunday’s match against Germany, Luis Enrique was able to do so before the hour mark. He then gave young Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde his professional debut.
When Spain scored its fifth goal, the 19-year-old charged up the field. Substitute Morata crossed the ball, and Gavi expertly drilled it home.
Gavi, the Kopa Trophy winner, passed Pele and Manuel Rosas to become the third-youngest World Cup goal scorer at the age of 18 years and 110 days.
Then, in a flawless opening game in Qatar, Soler and Morata joined the fun with goals in stoppage time to further humiliate Costa Rica and aid Spain in flexing their muscles.