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‘Cemetery is full of the brave … but nothing more beautiful than way Spain play’ : Spanish press go ga-ga

The Madrid-based sports daily ‘As’ wasn’t as effusive. They use the expression “crystal jaw”, like the ‘glass chin’ analogy, generally used to describe those who can’t take a hit.

Spain's Gavi vies for the ball with Germany's Jamal Musiala, left, during the World Cup group E soccer match between Spain and Germany, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

Spain held 64% of ball possession in the game against Germany that was drawn 1-1. Spain made 634 passes with 85% of them accurate, according to SofaScore.

No wonder, Marca, Spanish daily sports newspaper, has been raving about them post game, with caveats.

Sample this:

“We’re not going to die of fear,” Luis Enrique had said … But be prepared to suffer. Because that’s what Spain are, a team that play on the wire. If they lose, it will be by going forward, attacking. And yes, many will say that the cemetery is full of the brave, but there is nothing more beautiful than playing the way Spain play,” Marca’s football writer Juan Ignacio Garcia-Ochoa noted in his report of the game.

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In the first half, especially, Spain was all over the field, with their precision passing. Pedro González López, known simply as Pedri, was the masterful orchestrator. Never still, he would tap, run, collect the return pass or materialise ahead to collect it. If one thing was missing in Spain, it was the finish. They offset that by bringing on Morata as a substitute, allowing a focal point for their passes as a finisher. And he did score the goal.

“Impressive to watch, effective in 90 percent of the actions, but risky as hell. Those combinations between Aymeric Laporte, Rodri, Dani Carvajal and Unai Simon on the goal line with two opponents pressing are copyright of the national team, but very bad for fans’ health,” Marca noted.

They also raved about Dani Olmo. “Thank goodness Luis Enrique knows how to use him. Olmo has got it all: he’s got pace, movement, timing, acceleration, patience, that final pass and a goalscoring threat. As a winger or striker, he is always a problem for opposing defences. Against Germany he was Spain’s best player in the first half and came close to scoring with a missile that hit crossbar. Let’s hope to see him in LaLiga soon!”

The Madrid-based sports daily ‘As’ wasn’t as effusive. They use the expression “crystal jaw”, like the ‘glass chin’ analogy, generally used to describe those who can’t take a hit. ‘As’ reckons it’s the problem Spain will have in the rest of the competition, presumably after the opponents score.

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Generally, though, there seems to be an air of optimism in the Spanish press about their team.

First published on: 28-11-2022 at 11:24 IST
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