Spain’s 2-0 defeat by England at the European Championships in Holland has left the side’s qualification for the quarter-finals in the balance, with Portugal level on points going into the last round of fixtures.
AS sat down with Spain striker Jenni Hermoso to analyse the team’s tournament.
After the loss to England, the final match against Scotland is key to going through. How are you preparing for it?
It’s the most important game, but since the start of the Euros we have viewed every game as if it were the last. We want to make sure we get the three points and continue on the same line we showed against Portugal.
Against England you conceded early and made mistakes at the key moments. Have you been self-critical?
You always learn from your mistakes and that defeat will make us stronger for the rest of the tournament. It’s always tough to lose but the team worked very well and we’ll carry on fighting until the end.
Will viewing the Scotland game as if it were the last bring the best out of this team?
If we don’t win we could be knocked out… That’s the way it should be in every game, fighting as though there won’t be another one.
Are you worried that Spain didn’t score against England?
The statistics are good but what counts are goals. Losing 2-0 hurts, and more so because of how the game panned out, which was a little strange, there were some curious decisions, but these are things that are out of our hands. The team played well, we had the majority of possession, but the chances didn’t come. At the end of the day that cost us the game.
Strikers live on goals. Are you disappointed not to have scored yet?
It’s not something that worries me. For me it’s been a reward to have scored so many goals this year but I don’t put it on front of myself as an objective or an obsession because that can weigh you down. What I want is for the team to perform well, whether I score or not.
"Even the favourites can be knocked out at this Euros"
You’re playing Scotland, who are bottom of the group. I guess you won’t be taking anything for granted?
Obviously. They can score goals. This European Championship is very even and any of the favourites can be knocked out.
Spain beat Scotland in a recent friendly. Is that something that can work in your favour?
This is a tournament, which means it will be a completely different game. We’ll try to create more chances, and above all to score and not concede.
Are you hoping for a perfect match?
That’s very difficult to achieve. What we want more than anything is for our work to be reflected on the pitch.
"I'm more mature than I was and ready for the challenge at PSG"
After the Euros you’ll start a new phase in your career at PSG after playing for Barcelona. How will you go into that?
Right now I’m not thinking about that because the most important thing is here, but when the Euros are finished I’ll start a new life. I’m looking forward to it and I’m ambitious. I hope I’ll enjoy it a lot more than my time in Sweden. I found it difficult there but now I think I’m ready to take on a challenge of this size. I’m a lot more mature than I was then.
How far do you want to go in this European Championship?
I want to be here until the last day. There’s no doubt about that but at the moment we can only think about Scotland. We want to do great things, but that comes from taking care of the smaller details.