Spain returning to vintage of 2012, say delighted media

The sporting media in Spain were in a state of euphoria and expectation Saturday as a result of Friday's 3-0 destruction of Turkey in Nice at Euro 2016.

"Spain have turned in the best performance of the tournament so far, and have scored the highest number of goals of any team," commented delighted radio station Cadena COPE.

"And the best is still to come, we hope...This team is on the way to recovering the scintillating style and results of 2012, it seems."

Thar year saw the breathtaking apotheosis of Spain's domination of world football when the slick "tiki-taka" of Vicente del Bosque's team conceded just one goal in six games at Euro 2012 - culminating in a memorable 4-0 exhibition against Italy in the final.

After the retirement of Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Carles Puyol and David Villa - and after the defeats at the 2014 World Cup - many Spanish fans feared that La Roja's reign was over.

Spain did not go into the Euros on a wave of optimism, but the wins over the Czech Republic (1-0) and Turkey (3-0) have quickly restored confidence.

"Now we have the wind in our sails and it will be difficult to stop us," remarked sports daily AS.

"That was an excellent display of controlled attacking football, with solidity in defence, possession in midfield and speed in attack."

Meanwhile, rival daily Marca carried the headline "This Is How Champions Play."

Marca was full of praise for playmaker Andres Iniesta, calling him "the most important player in the tournament so far."

The Barca veteran said: "It is good to see that everyone still has a lot of respect for us.

"We have still not yet achieved anything here, but we are now in our stride. We want to go as far as possible in this tournament."

Two other players receiving massive praise are strikers Alvaro Morata and Nolito, who looked flat against the Czechs but lively Friday, scoring the handsome goals in the 3-0 rout.

Radio Marca said that the performances of Morata and Nolito vindicated Del Bosque's decision to overlook Chelsea striker Diego Costa, who looked clearly out of his depth at the 2014 World Cup.

Another of Del Bosque's decisions that has been received favourably is to replace veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas with youngster David de Gea, who has still not conceded a single goal in 11 games for La Roja.

Most of the media agree that Del Bosque should not change a winning team ahead of Tuesday's final Group D game against Croatia.

Spain need just a draw in that game to ensure a first-place finish, given that they are currently two points above the Croats.

Last update: Sat, 18/06/2016 - 11:16

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