Doha, Dec 7 Spain coach Luis Enrique defended his players and his passing style of football after they were eliminated from Qatar World Cup on penalties in the last-16 against Morocco here on Tuesday.
Spain controlled over 75 per cent of the ball in the game, but failed to get a shot on target from open play in 120 minutes, with their only efforts on target coming from set pieces.
“I am very happy with the players I have, I will stand with them to the death. I selected them and I congratulate them for the way they have behaved and for their World Cup,” said Enrique, reports Xinhua.
“What upsets us is going out of the World Cup,” added the coach, who had no complaints about the defeat.
“This is sport, the players have followed the plan I gave them 100 per cent,” he continued. “My team represented my idea of football and I can only thank them for that.”
“We dominated the game, but lacked a goal: the midfield controlled the ball, you can criticize us for not creating chances, but Morocco defended really well,” he insisted.
He also talked about the penalties. “I chose who took the penalties: I took the ones who I thought were in best shape to take them. If I had to do it again, I would pick the same three,” commented Enrique, who added that his regret was that he hadn’t given more time to Pablo Sarabia in Qatar.
Enrique sent Sarabia to the field in the extra time, obviously considering his spot-kick ability. In the penalties, Sarabia was the first to stand out but his shot hit the right post.
The coach was also asked about his future at the national team.
“I can’t say, if I will carry on, because I don’t know, I am very happy here with the team and the federation and I have a good relation with the Director of Sport and the President. if it was for me, I would stay forever, but I have to consider what they want,” he said.
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