The Spanish team beat Croatia and will be in the quarterfinals of the Eurocup. A feat that just a week ago was almost alien, due to the doubts offered by those of Luis Enrique that led to a great detachment on the part of the fans.
However, the win against Slovakia in the last match of the group stage in which Spain won the ticket to the round of 16 with a resounding 5-0, I had already raised the illusion of the fans that, with the pass to the quarterfinals, increases despite the ups and downs of the meeting.
Spain stood firmly against Croatia on the field, despite the uncertainty that this selection always causes, formed for the most part by players who do not carry much experience in big tournaments behind them. With a front formed by Ferrán Torres, Morata and Sarabia, La Roja gave the pulse to Luka Modric’s team.
And it couldn’t have started worse: a tremendous sung by Unai Simón By not controlling the transfer of Pedri, he placed the Croats ahead in what could have been a hard moral blow that could have determined the rest of the match.
But not. This Spain that raises doubts is gradually silencing them at the stroke of a match. If the beginnings in the tournament against Sweden and Poland left the faithful almost indifferent of the Red, the win against Slovakia and, above all, the ability to recover from the mistake of the goalkeeper and the blows of Croatia show that perhaps this team had to be given, at least, some courtesy time.
Busquets He was once again decisive in the core, one of the Spanish players with more experience in big squares, and the firmness of Azpilicueta in defense – and even in the face of goal, he was the author of the second – and the good understanding between the men at the top marked the game that, even full of ups and downs, was satisfactory.
The lack of goal that despaired at the start of the Euro and that seemed to dissipate against Slovakia, was completely in the past against Croatia, with the contribution of the Chelsea center-back and three of three of the starting forwards finding glory: Sarabia (the one with the tie after Simón’s blunder) and Ferrán ( the one of the tranquility that the 1-3 supposed) and Morata (the crucial 4-3 in extra time).
Error, euphoria, fear … and euphoria again
In the last minutes of regulation time, the Croatian team shortened distances thanks to Orsic, which put fear in the Spanish, a nervousness that was confirmed with the tie at three that led the game to extra time.
However, that Spain that seems to cry out for the confidence of the fans, returned to recover from the stick that was 3-3 with the game won.
The best of Spain, the ability to recover
And then it happened. If there has been a player singled out above the rest in this Euro it has been Alvaro Morata. The Juventus forward has been criticized by all colors for his failures in the face of goal and, nevertheless, and almost by way of poetic justiceIt was he who put the Spanish arreón on the way to the quarterfinals.
He received the Madrilenian in the area and he lowered the ball with his chest while he armed his leg with the tranquility of one who knows that his time has come. A 4-3 of the ‘9’ of Spain that serves to leave the ghosts behind. Shortly after, Oyarzabal finished off the feat.
In the quarterfinals he waits, except for a big surprise, France, which this Monday is measured to Switzerland looking for its place. A fearsome team, one of the greats, if not the most. favorite to win the title.
But the lack of certainty and confidence caused by the combination of Luis Enrique has gradually become an illusion and a feeling that, despite the lack of ‘military’, this team he knows how to do more than what was originally transmitted.
A selection that seems like a real roller coaster, with sections that increase the heart rate to dangerous limits, but with episodes of euphoria that invite you to dream of the highest.