Spain on Friday night confirmed their berth at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia with a 3-0 win over Albania and their captain, Sergio Ramos, uploaded a picture on his Instagram profile of a buoyant dressing in the aftermath of their triumph at the Estadio Jose Rico Perez.
First-half goals from Rodrigo Moreno, Isco and Thiago Alcantara assured three points for La Roja and while they had a few scares in the second-half, Julien Lopetgui’s men held firm to clinch their eighth win in qualifying.
Needing a win to confirm top spot in their group-consisting of Italy, Israel, Macedonia, Liechtenstein and Albania-Spain were virtually assured of three points within the opening half-hour itself.
A single qualifier, an away tie with Israel, remains and the 2010 World Cup champions look in good shape ahead of next year’s showpiece event.
Considering that the likes of Dani Carvajal, Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata were all missing due to injury or fitness issues, Friday’s win is even more impressive.
Spain, along with Belgium, Germany and England are the only European nations to have booked their berth for Russia but with one qualifier remaining, plenty of other names will be added to the list in the next couple of days.