Villarreal star Pau Torres played a full 90 minutes for Spain on Thursday night as La Roja suffered a surprise deat to Japan.
Spain closed out their group stage campaign with a 2-1 defea to Japan, who came from behind to secure top spot in the group.
Alvaro Morata put Spain ahead, but Luis Enrique’s men went on to blow the lead, and for around five minutes, La Roja were actually heading out of the World Cup, with Costa Rica leading Germany.
In the end, Germany came back to win 4-2, but while that was enough to send Spain through in second place, it wasn’t enough to save Germany. Due to Japan winning, Germany were forced out of the World Cup.
Luis Enrique rotated some positions for Spain’s final World Cup group stage game, and Pau came in to make his World Cup debut, playing the whole game. It’s worth noting that neither goal was his fault.
Whether Pau can keep his place remains to be seen, but it seems likely Luis Enrique will bring Aymeric Laporte back in.
Spain will face Morocco in the next round, and finishing second may have helped them in the long run, allowing them to move into the ‘easier’ side of the bracket, one that is not likely to feature Argentina or Brazil. Instead, France, England and likely Portugal will be on that side that now containts Spain.
Yeremy Pino is yet to make his World Cup debut, but Spain will - hopefully - have plenty of time remaining in the tournament.
Elsewhere, Boulaye Dia and Nicolas Jackson take on England in the Round of 16 after progressing with Senegal.