Spain hits Italy with ‘attack, pressure and ambition’

Spain hits Italy with ‘attack, pressure and ambition’

Milan – Coach Luis Enrique was clear in his approach to today’s UEFA Nations League semi-final, which brings Spain and European champions Italy together at home in Milan, saying: “If we had to pick three words for what we’re looking for in terms of play, it would be attack, pressure and ambition.”
And the date between the two arch-rivals is being extended today at the “San Siro” stadium in Milan, as Spain seeks revenge against “Azzurri”, who eliminated it on penalties from the European Cup semi-final this summer on its way to winning. the title for the second time in its history.
Italy enters the competition in good spirits not only because of winning the Continental Cup, but also because it has become the world record holder in terms of the number of consecutive games without defeat, keeping the unbeaten record of 37 consecutive games, especially since October 10, 2018, when Portugal in particular fell in the European Nations League.
Coincidentally, Italy would overtake Spain in this feat, as the latter held the record of 35 consecutive games with Brazil.
Enrique summed up the significance of today’s game by saying on UEFA’s website that “the match against Italy in Italy in the final rounds (of the European Nations League) was an attractive opportunity even before the European Cup took place. This is a tournament that we would like to win, and by chance we play against the European champions in their country.”
He expected: “It will be a very interesting match because it will give us the chance to know what kind of performance we can give in front of a majority Italian audience and against the European champions. You don’t need more motivation. I’m looking forward to this match. There is no doubt that the Italian style of play is one of the best at the moment and I’m sure it will be very interesting to see how each team tackles the other.”
The last visit of the “La Foria Roja” team to Italy was on October 6, 2016, when it handed its host a 1-1 draw in the 2018 World Cup qualifier for Russia at the Allianz stadium in Turin, which will take place on Sunday. the scene of the final of the European Nations League and Thursday’s match, the other in the semi-final between world champions France and neighboring Belgium.
A draw in that game was costly for Italy, and then things got more complicated by losing the return leg in Spain by three clean goals, forcing them to play the European play-off, which they lost to Sweden and thus failed to qualify for. first since 1958 the World Cup.
At that time, the process of build-up and renaissance began, led by the current coach, Roberto Mancini, who managed to combine the factors of experience and youth with a striking attacking style that pulled Italy out of its famous defensive shell.
One could argue that Spain was the only one to advance Mancini’s side in this summer’s European Cup with their possession and constant attacks.
This is what Mancini also admitted in an interview with the Confederation of African Football website: “Spain was the team we suffered more against than any opponent in the 2020 European Cup. It is a good team with good players. It will be a good match,” he said, noting that the style of the ground passages is “something they excel at.” “We didn’t get enough time to master it like they did,” he added.
It does not appear that Enrique will change his style even when the European champions return to the stadiums at home and their fans, albeit in a limited number and not in full stands, and Enrique said: “If I had to choose three words to determine what our coaching staff are looking for in terms of how to play. Spain, the first will be attack, the second pressure and the third ambition.”
“The most important word is attack, why?” he emphasized. When we sit down to pick a team, the first thing we look at is what he can do on offense. Every player will have the ability to defend to balance this (defensive), but the type that should be midfielders, central defenders and fullbacks is the attacking type. They have to have a good technique to try and get the ball from behind so that it reaches our attackers in the best possible way.”
As for the second word “pressure. We attack in a very specific way: if we can occupy certain spaces on the field, when we lose the ball we will be able to put pressure on our opponent, and that’s what we to do.”
On the one hand, “the third word is ambition. When you hear that (ambition), you say, well, every national team has that. both. When we talk about ambition, we mean to play the same way in every match, no matter who the opponent is. To attack in our usual way, whatever the outcome. If we win 3-0, we’re not going to sit back and defend. We attack and defend in the same way in every game.”
It is certain that Enrique’s task in applying his attacking philosophy will not be an easy one today in San Siro, which will host the national team for the first time since its European Cup victory.
Mancini spoke about the importance of winning the European Cup for the Italian people, saying: “It was great because we brought happiness to many people, young and old. We achieved something that made many people happy, perhaps because of these difficult times. times we’ve been through,” referring to the pandemic. Corona virus, of which Italy was the first victim on the European continent.
On his approach to winning, Mancini emphasized: “There is no one way to win. It is not just about playing well. If we can win while playing well and having fun, all the better. There are many ways to win. “
Mancini spoke about the changing way of looking at the Italian national team and the decline of his place in world football: “We must not forget that Italy has won the World Cup four times. We are European champions and have a great history.” -(AFP)

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