FC Barcelona star Andres Iniesta admits the Spanish approach in the first half against Italy was not the right way to go about things.
Spain saw their Euro dreams crash as they were defeated 2-0 by Italy with goals from Giorgio Chiellini and Graziano Pelle. This put an end to the Spanish bid for an unprecedented third successive European Championship.
The 32-year-old Barcelona midfielder stated that their approach in the first half of the game was wrong. The Spanish maestro went on to concede that his country had no choice but to “accept the disappointment”.
“We were too concerned about what they were doing and these situations penalised us. In the second half we went for them and had something else to show,” Iniesta was quoted as saying in Football Espana. “We were wrong [in our approach] in the first half. It’s a disappointment that we have to accept. They were more effective on specific occasions and overcame us.”
The Spanish outfit were outclassed by Italy, and to some extent, it looked like Del Bosque’s men fell prey to Conte’s tactics. The tactical masterclass, as many hailed it, propelled Italy to the quarter-finals, where they now face world champions Germany. Vicente Del Bosque has announced his departure from the Spanish national team after the defeat. It will be intriguing to see who the Spanish FA deem appropriate to replace the long-serving coach at the helm.
Andres Iniesta is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation. He has clocked 113 appearances for the Spanish national team, contributing 13 goals. The 32 year old was the best midfielder for Spain in the Euros too this year as is evidenced by the above comparison matrix. Boasting of a pass completion ratio of over 90 per cent, he was the playmaker-in-chief for the Spanish team, providing the impetus to attack.
There have been rumours of retirement from the national side as Iniesta dropped a hint or two himself. The Spanish maestro will be sorely missed if he ends up retiring after the Euros, and this will mark the end of an era of magicians such as Xaviesta for the La Roja.