Despite the cruel goodbye, the tournament propels the team, the fifth youngest, for the future. The union of the dressing room and the leadership of the coach, keys.
Few counted on defeat, why be fooled. Having overcome the obstacle of Croatia in the second round, and having suffered unspeakably against Switzerland, in the Spanish expedition in London there was the feeling that the flight achieved in Copenhagen and in Saint Petersburg would land in the capital of the United Kingdom for, at least, play the final. Even knowing the potential of Italy, in the bubble of the team there was no other reality than victory. It was not like that, and the elimination against the Italians hurts, of course, but when the hours calm the disappointment, a European Championship will emerge with a tremendously positive balance for Spain. It is not a question of ignoring that it was suffered against rivals with less individual quality, but the general balance is that this group has the capacity to improve in the coming years. In the same way that the falls in Brazil 2014, in France 2016 and in Russia 2018 did not leave a clear path ahead, this Tuesday at Wembley does have a marked roadmap. With all the nuances you want, with all the aspects to improve, the direction of this selection is clear.
To begin with, because Spain has played in this European Championship with the fifth youngest team in the tournament, surpassed only by Turkey, England, Wales and Ukraine. Tuning the microscope on the data, only England counts for this ranking, while the other three do not belong to the nobility of European football. The players mentioned by Luis Enrique have an average of 26.5 years, that is, that average will be in fullness within a year and a half (Qatar World Cup) and will still have a very good tone in 2024 (German European Championship).
Of those present, only a final close to Busquets is sensed, by age, although the football seen denies in this case his date of birth. The rest are players with a medium or, in many cases, a long journey. People like Ferran Torres (21), Dani Olmo (23), Pedri (18), Pau Torres (24), to name a few with a lot of prominence in this European Championship, are the skeleton of a group that will remain united.
Even the middle class that this team represents, without big stars like a decade ago, has a good age to keep up. Azpilicueta (30), Koke (29), Morata (28) and some others can go ahead, that is because they do not have irruptions like Sarabia (29) who has come to stay. It is, in short, a group that has also formed a "family", as they like to say in there, with which they have recovered something that had been lost for many years in Las Rozas. The footballers come with enthusiasm and enthusiasm to the concentrations. The most immediate will begin on August 31. The week before, Luis Enrique will give the list of summoned for the next matches of this group, which will surely no longer go unnoticed by the general public. There will be three, corresponding to the qualifying phase for the Qatar World Cup in 2022. On September 2 against Sweden as a visitor, on the 5th receiving Georgia and on the 8th traveling to Kosovo.
In front, of course, will be the same coach, something that has not been usual in recent appointments. Del Bosque, after the defeat of the World Cup in Brazil, chose to continue and begin a renewal that never finished. After the European Championship in France, he was replaced by Julen Lopetegui, whom Rubiales fired at the gates of the first match at the World Cup in Russia. Shortly after the painful expulsion by the host, Luis Enrique arrived. And today it is obvious that there are no doubts in any establishment regarding its continuity. He has a contract until the World Cup in Qatar, but the two parties are delighted to have met and he will surely go beyond that appointment.
"I FEEL VERY SUPPORTED"
Because, apart from some deliberately agreed criticisms by sectors close to Real Madrid, it does not seem difficult to conclude that the work of the Asturian coach is crystallizing. "I feel very supported and it is a pleasure to represent my country as a coach," said Luis Enrique in the run-up to the clash against Italy.
The revolution that Lopetegui started more timidly has ended, now. He has built a different team, more vertical, more ambitious, which may be weighed down by his lack of extreme quality at times, but he has a very clear plan and is capable of putting it into action against any rival. "I want players to fly, I said it when I arrived and I will tell you what I am going to continue looking for from now on," said the coach. The way is clear.
Updated Date: 12 July 2021, 07:34