‘We need the ball. We want to have it.’

Spain won’t be the finest model of itself, and it’s undoubtedly not the model, no less than, that thrashed Italy, Four-Zero, in the closing of Euro 2012. But it nonetheless performs a really Spanish model, heavy on passing and possession.

That, as our colleague Rory Smith has famous, might be each a optimistic and a detrimental — and it has been each at this match. But it’ll completely be the sport plan in the present day, Spain’s coach, Luis Enrique, stated Monday.

“We’re leaders in the possession stats, but they too are a side who enjoy playing with the ball, so that’s going to be the first battle to win,” Luis Enrique stated. “But they’re also very good without the ball. We need the ball. We want to have it.”

Still, historical past is usually a horrible burden, and Luis Enrique has spent a while since the quarterfinals making an attempt to mood expectations for Spain’s present group, which has the youngest common age in the match however nothing like the pedigree of its predecessors, who sandwiched European titles in 2008 and 2012 round the nation’s solely World Cup championship.

“It’s impossible to understate this,” he stated. “We’re not an experienced national team.”