Facts & figures: Spain

Factbox on World Cup qualifiers Spain: World Cup record:

Previous appearances in finals: 12

Best performance: Fourth 1950

Coach: Vicente del Bosque

Enjoyed a successful playing career with Real Madrid and Spain before leading Real to two Champions Leagues and two league titles as coach. The down-to-earth 58-year-old succeeded Luis Aragones after Spain's triumph at Euro 2008 and guided them to 10 wins out of 10 in their qualifying campaign.

Key players:

Xavi (Barcelona). Age 29. Midfielder.

One of the most complete midfield orchestrators around, Xavi was a key reason both for Spain's success at Euro 2008 and Barcelona's record-breaking treble of titles last season. Diego Maradona said this month if he could have one player from the Spain squad in his Argentina side it would be Xavi.

David Villa (Valencia). Age 27. Striker.

Villa has a superb scoring record for Spain, netting 35 in only 54 appearances to put him second on the all-time top scorers' chart behind Raul, who has 44 from 102 games. Villa was the leading marksman at Euro 2008 with four goals despite missing the final through injury.

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid). Age 28. Goalkeeper.

Widely regarded as one of the world's top three keepers, team captain Casillas made his Spain debut in June 2000 at the age of 19 and made his 100th appearance against Argentina this month. His two penalty saves in the quarter-final shootout against Italy at Euro 2008 are seen as a turning point in Spain's international fortunes.

FIFA world ranking November 2009: 1

How they qualified:

Spain booked their place in South Africa with two matches to spare and went on to win all 10 qualifiers. They scored vital home and away victories against Turkey, including a comeback 2-1 win in Istanbul, and followed that up with a 5-0 mauling of Belgium and a 3-0 defeat of Estonia to secure qualification.

Prospects:

After their success at Euro 2008, which ended a 44-year wait for a major trophy, and their impressive qualifying campaign, Spain are many people's favourites to win what would be their first World Cup. With the canny Del Bosque in charge and a deep squad it would be a major surprise if they did not make at least the last four.