Spain will go into the World Cup in Russia with a squad who have played more combined minutes during the 2017-18 season than any other competing nation in Russia.
According to a report compiled by the CIES Football Observatory, Julen Lopetegui’s 23-player group have put in a combined 85,554 minutes across all competitions during the campaign, more than France (81,982), Brazil (80,533), England (76,516) and Portugal (75,348).
Top 10 World Cup teams in 2017-18 minutes played
The reigning European champions almost 10,000 fewer minutes of football between them than the 2010 World Cup winners, with Spain and Portugal due to face each other on June 16 in a game that will likely decide who tops Group B.
The CIES also examined the number of minutes played by every player representing their countries in Russia and only one of Lopetegui’s squad, Atlético Madrid midfielder Saúl, features in the top 10. Portugal’s first-choice keeper, Rui Patricio, tops that particular list with his club teammates Sebastián Coates and Bruno Fernandes also in the top 10.
Top 10 most-used club players in 2017-18
|Rui Patricio||Sporting Lisbon||Portugal||61||5,580|
|Bruno Fernandes||Sporting Lisbon||Portugal||60||4,879|
|Marc-Andre Ter Stegen||Barcelona||Germany||54||4,860|
Three Barcelona players also feature, with Leo Messi, Luis Suárez and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen among the most-used players for their clubs going into the tournament.