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2023 Women's World Cup

Spain, known for technical mastery, showed a ruthlessness in World Cup triumph

Spain’s players are known for world-class technical ability and while they showed that off, their historic run to the 2023 World Cup title was surprisingly straightforward in approach

Patricia Pérez Ferraro / SPP

Spain won its first Women’s World Cup title on Sunday behind an approach that was neither tactically revolutionary nor overly complicated. It was, in fact, straightforward and effective.

Head coach Jorge Vilda executed his plans to perfection and Spain outplayed England throughout the 90 plus minutes across the pitch. Spain pressed England for the entire game and besides the opening 16 minutes, when Lauren Hemp’s shot from just inside the box had rattled the crossbar, Spain otherwise completely dominated the game.

Spain’s 4-3-3 dominated England’s initial 3-5-2 setup. There were no intricate movement patterns or overtly complex passing sequences over which so many find themselves in awe of the Spanish style. Rather, Spain used passing triangles and timed their movements in their quest for break down teams. The system was a big feature of their tournament run that relied on basic principles being executed perfectly by their individuals. Spain played with attacking fullbacks and inverted wingers, with the central midfielders delivering an added threat from the middle. This was the most important role and position for Spain: the middle three dictated Spain’s movements around them, particularly Aitana Bonmati.

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