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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Spain flaunt superiority: Team's performance was best of my reign, says manager Luis de la Fuente

The narrow victory margin would have been far greater but for heroics from Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and spurned chances, as Italy coach Luciano Spalletti admitted

Reuters Gelsenkirchen Published 22.06.24, 11:01 AM
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Spain underlined their Euro 2024 title credentials by outclassing defending champions Italy in a 1-0 win on Thursday which manager Luis de la Fuente hailed as the best of his time in charge of the team.

The narrow victory margin would have been far greater but for heroics from Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and spurned chances, as Italy coach Luciano Spalletti admitted.

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Spalletti attributed the yawning chasm between the sides to his players’ lack of freshness, but De la Fuente felt that analysis did not give Spain enough credit.

“Football is not only about freshness and fitness levels, but also tactics and technique,” he said. “I think we were far superior across the board from a footballing perspective.

“Perhaps it even seemed that Italy played badly, but that’s because we played very well. Italy won the Euro three years ago. We’re still a long way off winning the European Championship.”

Spain’s performance inevitably prompted questions about whether they can win the title.

“I think we’re the best in the world in terms of interpreting various match situations,” he told reporters. “Of course, that is reinforced when you win silverware. But I think the Spanish players are the best in the world.

“But football can also be very cruel. So we need to be cautious.” he added.

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