Spain vs Costa Rica player ratings: Gavi and Pedri pull strings in scintillating Qatar World Cup win

Spain began their Qatar World Cup campaign with a mesmerising 7-0 win against Costa Rica on Wednesday.

After Germany’s shock loss to Japan elsewhere in Group E earlier in the day, this game marked a great chance for Luis Enrique’s side to establish themselves as frontrunners in the pool.

And Spain certainly seized the initiative, downing Costa Rica with ease thanks to goals from Dani Olmo, Marcos Asensio, Gavi, Carlos Soler, Alvaro Morata and Ferran Torres – the latter scoring twice.

It was a superb all-round performance from the 2010 champions, who will be incredibly confident ahead of their next group game, against Germany on Sunday.

Here’s how Spain’s players fared against Costa Rica.

Unai Simon - 6

Almost exclusively a spectator in the Spain goal, but he will have enjoyed his front-row seat for this fine performance.

Cesar Azpilicueta - 6

With little defensive work required, the full backs will be judged more on their attacking contributions – and Azpilicueta didn’t shine quite as brightly as Alba did on the opposite side.

Rodri - 6

The Manchester City midfielder was deployed at centre back for this match, and he will have been fairly thankful for such a quiet night at the office.

Manchester City midfielder Rodri (left) was stationed at centre back for Spain (AFP via Getty Images)
Manchester City midfielder Rodri (left) was stationed at centre back for Spain (AFP via Getty Images)

Aymeric Laporte - 6

Similarly to his Man City teammate, Laporte had little to do in the centre of Spain’s defence but was focused and diligent throughout.

Jordi Alba - 8

Got up and down the left flank well, fizzed in the assist for Spain’s second goal, and won the penalty with which his team made it 3-0. Made way for Balde early in the second half.

Sergio Busquets - 7

Disciplined and metronomic at the base of the Spanish midfield, as we’ve seen so often from the Barcelona man over the last decade-plus. Provided a solid platform for his midfield partners to express themselves. Was replaced by Koke shortly after the hour mark.

Gavi - 9

The 18-year-old’s delightful flicked pass over the Costa Rica defence marked the assist for Spain’s opener. He then joined in on the scoring with a brilliant outside-of-the-boot volley – off the post and into the bottom corner.

Gavi (right), 18, scored a clever volley with the outside of his boot (AFP via Getty Images)
Gavi (right), 18, scored a clever volley with the outside of his boot (AFP via Getty Images)

Ferran Torres - 9

Hopped up to the penalty spot at 2-0 and confidently rolled the ball home, before adding Spain’s fourth by firing in a powerful close-range finish – after capitalising on some poor defending. He was substituted on 56 minutes, right after his second goal.

Marcos Asensio - 8

Is predominantly used to playing as a winger or attacking midfielder, but he was tasked with starting as a centre forward here. Took his goal well with a swept, first-time finish, even if Keylor Navas should have done better in the Costa Rica net. Was replaced by Inaki Williams.

Pedri - 9

The Barcelona playmaker epeatedly crafted openings – at time out of nothing – with the deftest passes. Every combination of short, low, long, and lofted was on display as the 19-year-old (20 on Friday) unknitted the Costa Rica defence at will. Was replaced early in the second half to ensure he stays fit for sterner tests.

Dani Olmo - 8

Expertly brought down a clever ball from Gavi while turning inside the Costa Rica box, before clipping a finish over Navas. A mesmerising scoring move from the winger.


Spain substitute Alvaro Morata fails to convert a chance (REUTERS)
Spain substitute Alvaro Morata fails to convert a chance (REUTERS)

Alvaro Morata - 7

Wasted a couple of decent half-chances within minutes of coming on, but he provided the assist for Gavi’s volley and scored Spain’s seventh goal.

Carlos Soler - 7

What’s Spanish for ‘solid but unspectacular’? That would have applied (darn it) until he hammered in Spain’s sixth.

Koke - 6

Worked hard between the two penalty areas after replacing Busquets in a defensive midfield role.

Alejandro Balde - 6

Made two very good, driving runs from deep, one of which led to Gavi’s goal.

Inaki Williams - 6

Didn’t make too much of an impression but didn’t make any real mistakes either.