Spain Coach De La Fuente Credits Players’ ‘Insatiable Hunger’ for Euro 2024 Final Berth

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente hailed his team’s quality and cohesion in coming from a goal down to beat France and reach the Euro 2024 final on Tuesday. He attributed this success not to his own strategy, but to the players’ unwavering hunger for victory. De la Fuente emphasized the team’s versatility and outstanding individual abilities, which he said combined to create a unique and effective style of play. He expressed confidence that this brand of football would be on full display in the final, regardless of whether the opponent is England or the Netherlands.

“Our idea of football is based on our self-assurance. This is what we want to play, we want to play to our strengths. I know that we are able to play football, we’ve seen it throughout the tournament,” De la Fuente told reporters. “Individually they are fantastic but they offer the collective benefits of their individual qualities – they always work for the common good, for the collective effort.” He continued, “They are very generous in their efforts and work rate. This is just one more sign that this is an insatiable team, that they want to keep improving with the spirit of sacrifice.”

Spain found themselves trailing early after France’s Randal Kolo Muani scored, but teenager Lamine Yamal equalized with a stunning strike in the 21st minute. Dani Olmo added a second goal shortly after, culminating in a spectacular first half. De la Fuente defended his previous decisions and team selections, reminding critics that his extensive history with the players allowed him to make informed choices. “I want you to know that this may surprise you more than it surprises us, because we knew the possibilities we had – I know these footballers and I make my decisions based on how much I know them,” he said. “It’s not out of a whim. You’ve been asking for this player or this other player, when you don’t know the history behind each and every one of them. We do know – me and the technical staff – and I know my players can give much more and they can improve and be even better.”

De la Fuente reserved special praise for Yamal, whose goal he described as “a touch of genius.” “We all know who he is. We need to take care of him,” he said. “I want him to work with the same humility, keep his feet on the ground in order to keep improving, learning with the same kind of attitude and that professionalism, that maturity that he shows on the pitch. “He looks like a much more experienced player to be honest but fundamentally I celebrate that he’s in our team, that he’s Spanish and that we count on him and I hope we can enjoy him for years to come,” Fuente added.

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