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Thu Apr 17 12:18:11 SAST 2014

Modest Del Bosque denies changing the game

Iain Rogers, Reuters | 02 July, 2012 10:180 Comments
Spain v Italy - UEFA EURO 2012 Final
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque celebrates their victory after the Euro 2012 final between Spain and Italy at the Olympic Stadium on July 1, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine
Image by: Shaun Botterill / Getty Images

Vicente del Bosque played down a suggestion he had changed football by sometimes starting matches at Euro 2012 without a recognised striker after Spain crushed Italy 4-0 to retain their continental title on Sunday.

Midfielder Cesc Fabregas was again deployed as a roving forward for the game at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, as he had been earlier in the tournament against Italy and France, and Spain were soon in front when he crossed for David Silva to nod past Gianluigi Buffon in the 14th minute.

Fabregas was replaced by Fernando Torres, a genuine centre forward, with 15 minutes remaining and Torres promptly netted Spain’s third before setting up Chelsea team mate Juan Mata for the fourth on a near-perfect night for the Iberian nation.

“There is not only one type of football,” Del Bosque told a news conference.

“The important thing is to score goals,” added the 61-year-old, who is only the second coach to win a European Championship and a World Cup title.

“Our players are very intelligent and we have a very balanced team, we have security in our players.

“We have strikers but we decided to play with players who went better with our style.”

Apart from a 4-0 thrashing of Ireland in the group phase, Spain found goals hard to come by in Poland and Ukraine, prompting accusations they lacked attacking flair and ambition.

Sunday’s performance was an emphatic response and Del Bosque was typically gracious in victory.

“This was a very tough opponent but they just didn’t have the luck,” he said, in reference to an injury to Thiago Motta that left the Italians with 10 men for the final half hour.

“That is why it was so comfortable for us to win this final. We just played our own game and we were faithful to what we have done in recent years.”

  MORE CHALLENGES

Spain’s next challenge is to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and they will compete in next year’s Confederations Cup, the curtain-raiser for the global event.

“This success Spanish football has achieved is something historic, now we have to look ahead to qualify for Brazil,” Del Bosque said.

“There will be more challenges, qualification for the World Cup, the Confederations Cup where we will represent Europe and we want to do it well.”

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