No doubt some football fans who watched Spain labour to an unconvincing – and, let’s face it, fairly dull – one nil victory over Croatia, last night, will have started to allow just a few thoughts to creep into their mind; primarily, that this Spain side is actually human, and possibly even beatable.
Those thoughts need to be tempered for a little while yet; Spain’s fatigued and loose performance in their final group game was not that impressive, that’s for sure. However, the Spanish team still won their game with minutes to spare, and even had the nerve to finish the 90 minutes without a recognised striker on the pitch.
Amongst all this, the Spanish goalkeeper, Iker Casillas, also managed to pull off a world class save or two from a plucky Croatia side, reminding us that the World Champions are not solely reliant on their talented creative players to dominate games in the final third.
They also have a sturdy defence to help to keep the team in contention in tight games, such as their upcoming clash with France. The Spaniards go into their quarterfinal clash as favourites on Bet365.
With the Spanish clearly still looking to improve, and the rest of the teams at the tournament so far failing to impress consistently (yes, even Germany!), it would seem that it’s going to take some doing for the Spanish to be robbed of their third tournament win in a row.
If Euros success does come Spain’s way this summer, and they continue to win tournament after tournament, it seems likely that the changing of the guard (away from the likes of Xavi and Iniesta, and towards younger talent, such as Fabregas and Jesus Navas) will set the scene for even greater and more sustained future success for this great team.
Take a breather from the European Championship, by checking out the Bet365 Ray Winstone video on YouTube.