July 26, 2021

European Football Championship: Spain says goodbye “with dignity”

Team boss Luis Enrique has shaped Spain back into unity. According to the daily sports newspaper, he rightly received applause from fans and critics. The newspaper “Mundo Deportivo” agreed: “Luis Enrique brings pride back to La Roja.”

The coach also said after the end that he was proud of his team. “Of course I’m disappointed. But in professional sport you have to learn to win and also how to deal with defeat. ”Spain, he continued, has once again made it into the circle of the best. “We can go home with the certainty that we were clearly one of the best teams at the tournament,” said the 51-year-old.

Morata hero and unlucky fellow

Attacker Alvaro Morata became the tragic hero of “Roja” in the 2: 4 penalty shootout. The 28-year-old from Italy’s top club Juventus Turin brought Spain into extra time with a late goal (80th) after the Italian lead by Federico Chiesa (60th), but his penalty in the decision sealed the end.

AP / Facundo Arrizabalaga

Moarata failed with his penalty against Italy goalkeeper Antonio Donnarumma

Enrique took Morata, whose family was threatened after the first weak European Championship appearances, demonstratively under protection after the disappointment. Morata took responsibility despite an injury, said the coach. “That says a lot about personality. He was extremely important to us in this tournament. ”The Madrilene scored three goals, after 46 international matches he is now holding on to the really not bad result of 22 goals. It will be remembered, however, that Morata’s nerves failed at a key moment.

Ready for great deeds to come

Team boss Enrique should also lead the team to the World Cup in Qatar at the end of 2022, his contract will only expire after that. If you take the performance at Wembley as a benchmark, Spain seems to be prepared for the future. Attacker Dani Olmo (23), who showed a strong performance in London but failed in the penalty shootout like Morata, Ferran Torres (21) and above all the only 18-year-old Pedri are promises for the future. Older ones like captain Sergio Busquets (32), left-back Jordi Alba (32) and Cesar Azpilicueta (31) could still take the World Cup with them.

Pedri (ESP) and Domenico Berardi (ITA)

Reuters/Andy Rain

Pedri (left) showed his great potential

Pedri predicted a great future for Enrique. “No other 18-year-old has done what Pedri did here in a major tournament,” he said of the FC Barcelona midfielder. “I’ve never seen someone like him,” he said of the Tenerife-born teenager. He had only moved from second division Las Palmas to Barcelona in the summer of the previous year. Not even the former world-class player Andres Iniesta was as good as Pedri at this age, said Enrique. “That lacks any logic.”