Spain bowed out of the Euros on Tuesday after their semi-final loss to Italy. They had a mixed bag of a tournament as at times they looked like a team that could go on and win the tournament but moments later they would miss a sitter of a chance which would make you think otherwise.
They started their campaign with two draws against Sweden and Poland. With those matches, two things were clear. Spain were still capable of dominating possession but at the same time, the final product was lacking. In the next two matches, they scored 5 goals each and it seemed as if they had finally learned how to put the ball in the back of the net.
Their quarter final clash against Switzerland was very frustrating as they couldn’t score the winner against a 10-men Swiss side. The game went to penalties and they were victorious. However, they were on the wrong side of a penalty shootout result in the semi-finals. Despite being the better side, they lost in the shootout as the better team throughout the tournament i.e Italy would progress further.
While many things could be made out of Spain’s performances this summer, one thing is for sure. They have a bright future ahead. Youngsters like Pedri, Eric Garcia, Dani Olmo and Ferran Torres had a good tournament, some better than the others.
“What Pedri has done during this European Championship I haven’t seen done by any 18-year-old in any other competition,” Spain coach Luis Enrique said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Not even Iniesta did what Pedri did,” Luis Enrique said.
The gritty performance by the youngsters, however, alleviated those concerns only a year before the next big tournament — the 2022 World Cup.
“We have to be happy and proud of what we have achieved,” Luis Enrique said. “We have several young players and they contributed in such a way that is hard to understand when you look at their age. There are a lot of positive things to look at going forward.”