Los 40 USA
NewslettersSign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

End of an era for Spain; eternal thanks


It's over. Neither the team nor the coach have any more to give. Spain leave Euro 2016 beaten by an Italy side who were considerably better. What will be remembered is Spain's final fight to restore their honour: with 20 minutes left and by some miracle only losing 1-0 the team went upfield and overwhelmed Italy, who were struggling with tiredness and the memory of their missed chances. But there was Buffon, an incredible keeper who stopped everything that got through the defence. He made a stunning save from Piqué, with expensive consequences for Spain - almost directly from there Italy counter-attacked and scored their second. The goal that marked the end of an era.

Pelle grabs Italy's second
Full screen
Pelle grabs Italy's secondPHILIPPE LOPEZAFP

Spain were very poor in the first half

Del Bosque was poor, Conte very good. Del Bosque went with simply sending the team out to play, without a guidebook for how to attack the Italian defence. It took me aback, because I know he was worried about the matter. And clearly he wasn't able to fire the team up, to boost the condidence of a group who have been mentally fragile since the last World Cup and who fell to pieces to easily in the face of adversity. What happened in the first half was shocking. Spain appeared like a team of holiday-makers. Italy bossed the whole pitch.

Perisic's goal shattered Spain's belief

De Gea was at fault for the opening goal, but on the other hand he saved several. He was Spain's best, or the least bad. The Silva-Cesc-Iniesta threesome, what commentator Luis Suárez calls the "team's kitchen", didn't cook up anything. There was more of a spark when Aduriz and Lucas Vázquez were on, but the drive to get the leveller didn't get a reward, though a goal was close on several occasions. In the end Perisic's goal shattered our belief and sent us to the tough side of the draw, where we fell. A poor end for Del Bosque, whose career, in any event finishes here. What remains are the memories of everything this team gave us, and for which we'll be eternally grateful.