Spain’s ‘band of brothers’ united ahead of clash vs Germany


Doha, Qatar — last four times Bayern Munich have played barcelona In Champions LeagueThe total score has been made 11-0 Bundesliga Party. From this you can conclude spain they have no chance world Cup struggle with Germany on Sunday.

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Why? Because, of those Bayern teams, Germany coach Hansi Flick could be fielding manuel neuerJosh Kimmich, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Leon Goretzka, leroy sane, Niklas Sule And Thomas Muller At Al Bait Stadium. And because this weekend in Luis Enrique’s team you will find Jordi Alba, Eric Garcia, Sergio Busquets, Anu Fati, pedi, Gavi, alejandro balde And pheran torres – all of whom have been battered by German power, danger and muscle power over the past two seasons.

Those four matches were dramatic, clear displays of power, accuracy, speed, height and sporting aggression. And we’re not even counting the 8-2 Bayern win Blaugrana in the 2020–21 quarterfinals. It began to feel as though German football was actively trying to stamp the life out of Spain’s more delicate, rights-based, technically delightful artistry.

The cream of Spain were so comprehensively dismantled at club level, you can bet Pedri, Gavi, Busquets, Alba et al. knew exactly how Costa Rica Felt it when they left the Al Thumama pitch on Wednesday — thrashed 7-0. after so much excitement la rosaAgainst opponents previously renowned for their defensive organisation, two questions immediately arise: is this form transferable to the crucial Group E match against Germany? And, should his fans worry that the new found complacency and arrogance could impair Spain’s readiness for a titanic battle?

Last question first. I was working in the player tunnel when Luis Enrique’s winning side came off the pitch. No shouts, no cheers, no hue and cry – if you hadn’t seen the match or the scoreboard you would have thought it was half time with things balanced at 0-0. Not a hint of exuberance or airs. Faces set, serious manner–the mood was: job done, what next?

One of Luis Enrique’s immediate analytical reactions was to say: “Look, we can lose in the next match but it will not happen under any circumstances, because we have rested after this result.” It is also worth believing. The 52-year-old Asturian has cast a spell on his personnel. Spain’s footballers are convinced of his plan, submit to his rules, impressed by his “attack, press, ambition” philosophy. In fact, they whisper, really enjoying themselves during their stay at Qatar University.

Whether the brutal destruction of Costa Rica says specific things about Spain, given that Germany’s Bayern Corps have overcome the overwhelming physical, athletic and behavioral advantages recently exerted on Spain’s Barça squad, is a different matter. Every match is a new universe of detail, mindset, form, luck and strategy.

One thing is clear though: the pulsating, upbeat, evangelical message that has been throbbing out of the Spain training headquarters since they arrived here last week was telling the truth. I’ll share some of the statements made on and off the record:

“We’re a band of brothers.”
“The atmosphere is fantastic.”
“We’re a bunch of friends having fun and pulling for each other.”
“There’s no way this group will let everyone down…”

I cannot stress enough the shimmering hum of ambition, commitment, attitude, determination.

Now, does all that sentiment negate the fact that Spain are a young, unsophisticated group that lack a clear, punishing goal scorer in the style of Fernando Torres, David Villa or even Raul? Not on my own. But not only are most of Spain’s players hitting form at the right time, they are fresh, sharp minded and really like the way their coach gives them the freedom to go out and play beautifully.

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It’s a sad memory for me that in the days building up to Spain’s 2010 World Cup win, Xavi stopped a FIFA referee briefing that was being held by Horacio Elizondo and insisted: “Play the rules the way you want.” That’s enough about him – go and tell Sepp Blatter that the pitches are bad, that the grass needs to be cut and watered and that he is putting a premium on defensive, boring football.”

that version of la rosa South Africa weren’t just there to win, they wanted to attack, they wanted to entertain, they wanted to make football look beautiful. This year’s team is also yearning for the same.

Vicente del Bosque’s team won the 2010 World Cup with the fewest goals scored in history, finding their way on churned-up, slow-playing surfaces and generally defensive or lethargic opponents (semi-final opponents Germany excluded ) playing against. Germany coach Joachim Loew praised the Spaniard’s skill, technicality, vision and passion for passing. German football, in the years to come, retained its taste for tall, tough, aggressive, fast footballers but steadily added better technical skills, better tactical acumen. At club level at least, the borrowing of the Spanish template, blending it with traditional Teutonic values, has worked a treat.

Cut to today again and Spain are back in that fledgling state of wanting to perform with thrills, skill, courage, relentless passing pace. Luis Enrique let him off the leash. As Xavi emphatically said 12 years ago, they truly all believe that the World Cup should be a place of entertainment, luxury, elegance… a place where dreamers can dream and the world can see There is communication of inspiration in children with Most other sides look happy at not getting worse at 0-0 and hoping for a lucky late goal or two. That attitude would make Spain’s leading players vomit in disgust.

was interesting about how la rosa Costa Rica was treated with three, four or even five goals ticking Keller Navas They continued to go for the hug. No conservation of energy, no subconscious foot off the gas and no edge in the last 15 minutes. Spain continued to demonstrate the exact ambition and total commitment to attack that Luis Enrique has been promising. If they’re up 1-0 with five minutes left in a big match later this tournament, expect them to do the exact same thing.

“Don’t get me wrong, our job is to win so I’m not going to turn down a win where we haven’t played well,” he told me the other day, laughing. “But we will never die of fear, if we ever have to go down it will be with ambition, on the front foot and trying to beat everyone we meet.”

I love that kind of conversation, especially with the people who then walk on. did you see them Didn’t they shine a light on an otherwise overly cautious, overly dull World Cup? Now, however, comes a different kind of test.

The Germans are the proverbial wounded animal. finished twice. If they lose on Sunday, there is a good chance that they are out of the World Cup group stage for the second time in four years. complete and utter disaster for die manshaft, Furthermore, they will obviously be looking to avenge their 6-0 humiliating loss to Spain last time in the UEFA Nations League in November 2020 in cold blood. In fact, you’d hope that the flick did a good job of preparation. Black Forest Gatoux or some other Bavarian delight, to thank Luis Enrique Premach. Low’s six-goal humiliation of Germany in Seville two years ago was the final straw for him and the 2014 World Cup-winning coach announced he was stepping down a few months later. Flick got the job done. Now it’s all-in.

Another thing that stood out about Spain’s late seven against Costa Rica was the way their coach is in the zone. marco asensio treated as a spare part real madrid this season, out of contract in June and with only three of a possible 21 matches so far. He was nevertheless named Spain’s first choice centre-forward and scored. Torres, subdued by Ousmane DembeleThe need to play on the right in Barcelona, ​​restores his natural position and scores twice. Balde – aged 18, until recently a member of the Barcelona B squad until August and called up by Spain as a last-minute replacement – ​​comes on and helps create a goal with a sprint and dribble that moves across the pitch. consumes two-thirds of the portion. Welcome to the World Cup, kids. Dani OlmoAfter a few months out injured, Ansu starts instead of Fati and not only scores, but also gets the crucial opener and gives an assist. And nico williamsOnly brought into squad since September, assists crucial goal to win portugal and set up and reach the Nations League semi-final against Costa Rica carlos solargoal of (all but one la rosaFive of his subs either scored or scored against Costa Rica.)

It all adds up to the fact that at the moment, the Spain coach has the Midas touch. When the teams walk out to Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday, Germany will be thinking: they can do what Bayern did to Barca, while the Spanish players will all stick to the mantra: “In Luis Enrique we trust.”

Whoever wins, this is guaranteed to be exactly the kind of open, aggressive and hopefully exciting contest that this oddball World Cup needs.

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