Spain have been quite poor at the Euros and not only fans, but former players have taken notice of it as well. They drew against Sweden and despite having a massive portion of the ball, they couldn’t score a single goal. Their second match against Poland was a similar story of missed chances as the match ended 1-1.
Former Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart expressed his feelings about the Spanish side’s performances at the Euros and his criticism was not accepted in a positive manner by midfielder duo Sergio Busquets and Koke.
“All [Spain] do is pass from one side to the other,” Van der Vaart told NOS.
“They don’t even have a player who knows how to give a final pass.”
Koke was the first Spanish player to react to the former Real Madrid player’s words.
“Van de Vaart wants his moment of glory and he’s having it,” Koke said on El Partidazo de COPE.
“I saw him in the World Cup final, and here at Las Rozas we have a photo of [Andres] Iniesta’s goal against the Netherlands with [Van der Vaart] next to him. You have to respect him.”
Prior to the final day of the group stage, Spain had a chance of facing Netherlands in the first knockout round. Koke said that van der Vaart’s words will act as a source of motivation, especially if they end up facing the Dutchmen.
“We’re going to keep those words to motivate us a bit. We’re not going to hang them up in the dressing room, but we’re going to keep them in our memory if we play them,” he said.
Spain’s current captain Sergio Busquets also reacted to van der Vaart’s statement and was quick to share his thoughts on the topic at hand.
“When you use adjectives like that, you lose any meaning,” the Barcelona midfielder told Mediaset.
“I don’t understand why he, as a former player, talks like that for a moment of fame or glory.
“I think it’s shameful.”
As it panned out, Spain thrashed Slovakia in their final group and silenced their critics to some extent. They will face Croatia in the round of 16 and won’t be meeting Netherlands any time soon.