Spain are through to the last eight, where they may yet meet England in Donetsk on Saturday night, but this was not one of those Spanish nights that make every other football team simultaneously quake and purr.
This provoked other noises, mainly the sound of grinding teeth. Vicente Del Bosque’s molars must have taken a pounding. The Spain manager said afterwards his players had lacked their customary ‘clarity and control’. This, he indicated, may have been because of the fears of fatigue that some have had for these Spanish players.
‘It was a very difficult victory. We suffered, but they did too,’ Del Bosque added. ‘We did not have much strength to go forward. We didn’t have the clarity and control we usually have, therefore we lost our intensity. Also the opponents were very good.’ On the subject of weariness, Del Bosque said: ‘It is difficult to maintain the same level all the time.’
He can't miss... can he? Spain midfielder Jesus Navas is presented with an empty net
Cities & Stadiums
The Top 3 Teams of Previous Tournaments
|2008||Spain||Germany||Russia / Turkey|
|2004||Greece||Portugal||Netherlands / Czech Republic|
|2000||France||Italy||Netherlands / Portugal|
|1996||Germany||Czech Republic||France / England|
|1992||Denmark||Germany||Netherlands / Sweden|
|1988||Netherlands||Soviet Union||Italy / West Germany|
|1984||France||Spain||Denmark / Portugal|
|1972||West Germany||Soviet Union||Belgium|