Spain manager Luis Enrique admitted that he was likely relieved after Spain’s 5-0 bludgeoning of minnows Slovakia, which confirmed their qualification for the Knockouts of the Euro 2020, as the second placed team from group E.
Spain had the upper hand for most of the match against Slovakia, and got their lead when Slovakia shot stopper Dubravka turned the ball into his own net. Laporte doubled just before half before Spain ran riot at the other side of the break. Sarabia scored their third, Ferran Torres added another one before Kucka scored an own goal for their fifth, which was a cherry on the top.
Luis Enrique is relieved but warns his team from being over complacent ahead of their last 16 tie against Croatia
Enrique had earlier made a comparison before the crucial Slovakia game that ‘Spain was like a bottle of Cava waiting to pop’, following consecutive disappointing draws against Sweden and Poland in their first two group games, scoring only once.
However, Enrique admitted after the massive victory against Slovakia that he was much relieved to be proved right about his team’s performance and the potential they had in store.
“We have certainly popped that bottle of Cava, therefore we are delighted, we are pleased the fans and players have had a good time. Now it’s time for us to get another bottle of Cava and see if we can pop that too,” Enrique said.
“It is a relief. Not just for me, but in terms of what it means with our ability to achieve a convincing result with our style.”
“I believe people can have plenty of complaints, but I really don’t think there can be any criticisms of today. We will prepare for the last-16 with plenty of confidence and we’re desperate for Monday to come around soon,” the former Barcelona boss added.
However, Enrique’s message to his team was to not get carried away after the La Roja aced to biggest victory in the current edition of the European Championships.
“We will go step by step. I’ve spoken about what I believe we can achieve and the expectations we have as a national team and I haven’t changed my opinion,” Enrique told in the press conference.
Spain will face 2018 World Cup runners up Croatia in the last 16 at Copenhagen, and Enrique has warned his team of complacency before going into the tough tie.
“They are a top team with players we know well, we played in the Nations League two years ago as well. It will be a tough match but when you get to last 16 you can’t expect easy teams.”
It is now only a matter of time to see how the two times Euro Champions fare against the Croats and if they can overcome the hurdle to proceed further in the tournament.