1960 Withdrew With a team packed with stars such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Luis Suarez and Ladislao Kubala, Spain defeated Poland 4-2 away (Di Stefano 2, Suarez 2) and 3-0 at home (Di Stefano, Gensana, Gento). In the next round they were drawn against the Soviet Union, but Franco decided to withdraw for political reasons.
1964 Champions Spain eliminated Romania in the first round with a 6-0 victory at home (Guillot 3, Veloso, Amancio, Nunweiler og) despite losing 3-1 away (Veloso). They were paired with Northern Ireland in the next round, and after only drawing 1-1 at home (Amancio) coach Villalonga called on two players who were playing in the Italian league (Del Sol and Suarez) and Spain won 1-0 in Belfast, with Gento scoring the only goal. In the quarter finals, Spain beat the Republic of Ireland 5-1 in Sevilla (Amancio 2, Fusté, Marcelino 2) in a match which saw the debut of the legendary goalkeeper, Jose Angel Iribar. The return match was also won (2-0 in Dublin) with both goals from Zaballa. The final matches were in Spain. The semi final was against Hungary, with Spain running out winners by 2-1 with goals from Pereda and Amancio. The great final was Spain vs Soviet Union, bringing together the two best goalkeepers in the world, Lev Yashin and Iribar. Pereda scored the first goal for Spain, but Jusainov equalized. Then Marcelino scored the most important goal in Spain's history to claim the trophy with a 2-1 scoreline. The winning team was Iribar, Rivilla, Olivella, Calleja, Zoco, Fuste, Amancio, Pereda, Marcelino, Suarez and Lapetra.
1968 Quarter-finalist Spain won their qualifying group (with Rep.Ireland, Turkey and Czechoslovakia) and the quarter finals were against England. The first leg at Wembley was 1-0 for England with the winner scored by Bobby Charlton. In Madrid, Amancio scored to level but England rallied with goals from Martin Peters and Norman Hunter for a final score of 2-1 to England and elimination for Spain.
1972 Failed to qualify In the qualifying group Spain finished second and were thus out of the competition. They beat Cyprus 2-0 away (Pirri, Violeta) and 7-0 at home (Pirri 2, Quino 2, Aguilar, Lora, Txetxu Rojo) but Spain lost and drew with the Soviet Union 2-1 (Rexach) and 0-0, and after beating Northern Ireland 3-0 in Sevilla (Rexach, Pirri, Luis), could only draw 1-1 (Txetxu Rojo) in Northern Ireland. The coach Kubala blamed their failure on the high number of foreign and Spanish nationalised players who were playing in the Spanish league at the time, preventing youngsters from coming through.
1976 Quarter finals Spain won their qualifying group with wins against Denmark, 1-2 away (Claramunt pen, Roberto Martínez) and 2-0 at home (Pirri, Capón), draws against Romania 1-1 (Velázquez) at home and 2-2 away (Villar, Santillana), and a win and a draw against Scotland, 1-2 away (Quini 2) and 1-1 at home (Megido). In the quarter finals they had to play World Cup holders, West Germany. The home leg finished 1-1 (Santillana) but the return game saw the Germans run out 2-0 winners.
1980 Qualified Again Spain won their qualifying group with the following results:
Yugoslavia: 0-1; 1-2 (Juanito, Santillana)
Romania: 1-0 (Asensi); 2-2 (Dani 2)
Cyprus: 5-0 (Santillana 2, Asensi, Ruben Cano, Del Bosque); 1-3 (Villar, Santillana, Saura)
This gave them the passage through to the final stage in Italy. However they were drawn in a strong group and they finished last with the following results: Italy 0-0 Spain; Belgium 2-1 Spain (Quini); England 2-1 Spain (Dani pen). Coach Ladislao Kubala was fired after 11 years with a record of 31 wins, 21 draws and 16 defeats.
1984 Finalist Spain were drawn with Holland, Eire, Iceland and Malta in the qualifying stage. After five wins and a draw, with 11 goals for (Maceda 2, Señor 2, Santillana, Rincón, Pedraza, Víctor, Carrasco, Gordillo and an own goal) and only five against, they lost narrowly to Holland by 2-1, with Houlman and Gullit scoring for the Dutch and Santillana for Spain.
They therefore went into the last match needing to score 11 goals more than Malta to reach the finals at the expense of the Netherlands. With the half-time score 3-1 in Spain's favour, this looked unlikely but a second half barrage produced a final scoreline of 12-1 (Santillana 4, Rincón 4, Maceda 2, Sarabia and Señor) and Spain had booked their ticket.
In the finals in France, two draws with Romania 1-1 (Carrasco pen) and Portugal 1-1 (Santillana) didn't bode well given that the third match was against West Germany, but Spain won 1-0 thanks to Maceda's last minute goal after Carrasco had missed a penalty. The semi final was against Denmark and after a 1-1 draw (Maceda), the game went to penalties. Sarabia scored the crucial kick for a 5-4 victory and Spain had reached their first final in 20 years.
Spain played well in the final despite key players Goikoetxea, Maceda and Gordillo missing from the side. France had all the luck though as a dubious penalty scored by Platini gave them the lead and a last minute own goal by keeper Arconada flattered the hosts with a 2-0 victory.
1988 Qualified Spain were lucky to qualify in a relatively weak group. Results were as follows:
Romania: 1-0 (Michel); 3-1 (Calderé)
Albania: 5-0 (Bakero 3, Michel, Llorente); 1-2 (Arteche, Joaquín)
Austria: 2-0 (Michel pen, Sanchís); 2-3 (Eloy 2, Carrasco)
Their performance in the finals in Germany was disappointing. In the first game of the group, Spain beat Denmark 3-2 (Michel, Butragueño, Gordillo), but the second goal was clearly offside and the third was a terrible error from the Danish goalkeeper. Spain then lost 1-0 to Italy and 2-0 to West Germany. It was a very poor performance and coach Miguel Munoz was fired.
1992 Failed to qualify Spain failed to qualify in a group with France, Czechoslovakia, Iceland and Albania. Results were as follows:
France: 1-2 (Abelardo); 3-1 (Bakero)
Czechoslovakia: 2-1 (Abelardo, Michel pen); 3-2 (Roberto, Carlos)
Iceland: 2-1 (Butragueño, Carlos); 2-0
Albania: 9-0 (Butragueño 4, Carlos 2, Amor, Hierro, Bakero)
The last match at Albania was never played due to political trouble in that country, but it didn't matter. Spain failed to qualify, and yet another coach, this time Luis Suarez, fell.
1996 Quarter finals Spain came up against some old faces, and some totally new. They qualified well for the finals in England, with these results:
Cyprus: 6-0 (Guerrero, Alfonso, Pizzi 2, Hierro,
Caminero); 1-2 (Higuera 2)
Macedonia: 3-0 (Kiko, Manjarín, Caminero); 0-2 (Salimas 2)
Denmark: 3-0 (Nadal, Donato, Luis Enrique); 1-1 (Hierro pen)
Belgium: 1-1 (Guerrero); 1-4 (Hierro, Donato pen, Salinas, Luis Enrique)
Armenia: 1-0 (Hierro pen); 0-2 (Amavisca, Goekoetxea)
In the finals, Spain played all their group B matches in Leeds as a top seed. The first game was against Hristo Stoichkov's Bulgaria, and they put up a disappointing performance to draw 1-1. Bulgaria took the lead in the second half through a Stoichkov penalty after Sergi brought down Kostadinov. Clemente brought on Alfonso with 20 minutes to go, and the Betis striker scrambled in an equaliser. The second match was against France, and again Spain came back from behind to draw, this time Caminero scoring five minutes from the end. In the third group game, they finally got the victory they needed, beating Rumania 2-1 with goals from Manjarín and Amor. In the quarter final they came up against hosts England, and after a heart stopping 120 minutes without goals, including a golden goal extra time, it went to a penalty shoot out. Hierro's first kick rebounded off the bar, and although Amor and Belsué scored, Nadal shot was saved by Seaman, and England went through 4-2.