For almost a decade that door has been closed for Spain, a team that has passed through the underworld of the great tournaments, looked reluctantly by others, unable as it was to defend with dignity the crown that was girded in the Eurocup 2012. Since then, nothing.
It is the turn of the rejuvenated group of Luis Enrique this Monday in Copenhagen to find the key, lost years ago, to defeat Croatia, a team that is already in the final stretch of its glorious era, and open that door that allows it to leave that wasteland unoccupied. A truly generational conflict will take place at the Parken Stadium in the Danish capital. Some who want to arrive and others who are returning.
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A Spain that has made attack a way of understanding football life. And a Croatia whose profession has become a passport to success, more aware of its past than of the future that lies ahead. A match that places Luis Enrique’s group on the threshold of change.
“A word to define my feelings? Confidence, confidence to the fullest”
Luis Enrique, Spanish coach
If she wins, she will step on unknown territory in the last three appointments: she fell in the first phase of the World Cup in Brazil-2014, she was thrown home in the second round of the European Championship in France-2016 by Italy, the same limit that she encountered in the 2018 World Cup against Russia, the host.
“A word to define my feelings? Confidence, confidence at the top,” Luis Enrique almost shouted, preparing with his traditional optimism “the second final of the tournament.” In the first, his selection solved the “match-ball” with a resounding 0-5 to Slovakia that allowed him to get on the plane on the way to Copenhagen, the city that, perhaps, will determine his immediate future.
National team players submit Morata and Pedri to the corridor in Copenhagen
WOLFGANG RATTAY / AFP
There are games that actually mark the projection of a generation of players. In Croatia they still resist, led by the magical Modric, 13 players who were runners-up in the world three years ago.
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In Spain, however, there are only six survivors of that event, which proves the true magnitude of the revolution undertaken by Luis Enrique, a coach so brave that he dispensed with the Madrid players, without shaking his pulse to leave Ramos, the captain. , in his house. He played without a net against Slovakia and it went well.
The coach does not want to reveal if he will keep the team that beat Slovakia or make changes against Croatia
“No, nothing has changed. I saw the same attitude as against Sweden when we created 10 clear chances or against Poland. What gives you a result of this force is a boost of energy and confidence, which is very good for the team. That is logical, “admitted the coach, who did not want to give clues as to whether he will repeat the eleven that thrashed the Slovaks or will introduce changes. “Any of the 24 gives me guarantees to play a round of 16 and I say it from the most absolute honesty,” he stressed.
Tuck Morata ‘
In the first three games, Luis Enrique has served as a coach and, above all, as a psychologist, a task that officially corresponds to Joaquín Valdés , the specialist who always accompanies him on the bench.
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Modric, the heart of Croatia
“The situation is so serious that it must be placed in the hands of the Police because it is a serious crime. Insulting Morata’s relatives is a crime”
Luis Enrique, Spanish coach
Work was piled on the Asturian in managing the lack of the goal, together with the criticism, which has exceeded all limits, towards Morata, threatening both him and his family. Even to death, as revealed by the Juventuts forward in an interview with Cadena COPE. “The situation is so serious that it must be placed in the hands of the Police because it is a serious crime. Insulting Morata’s relatives is a crime,” said the technician.