MADRID, 26 Sep. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Portugal coach, Fernando Santos, has assured that Spain has played “in the same way for 20 years” and hopes that it maintains its essence in the League of Nations match on Tuesday at the Estádio Municipal de Braga, and wishes that, after stumbling against Switzerland, continue “wounded”, because that would mean the pass of the Portuguese to the ‘Final Four’.
“I expect a Spain equal to what it always was, nothing changes. They come to win, it is normal that they want to show their people and the newspapers their capacity. If we call that being wounded, I hope they continue to be wounded,” he declared in a conference of press. “Everyone knows Spain, they’ve been playing the same way for 20 years. They’re a possession team, a pressing team that reacts well to losing the ball. They have a clear matrix in their way of playing. We don’t have to worry for Spain, we have to respect Spain as we respect all rivals. We have to be focused on ourselves,” he added.
The two Iberian teams will play for the leadership of Group 2 and, therefore, the ticket to the ‘Final Four’, with the Portuguese facing the event with an advantage as they have two points more than Luis Enrique’s. “Three days ago we had to win both games because Spain was going to win. I asked for concentration. Now what we want is for the players to concentrate to fight for victory,” he said.
“If we focus on any rival, with more or less name, we will be closer to getting where we want. When we focus less on ourselves, without self-centeredness, thinking that we are good but with humility and knowing what we have to do, we are closer to winning. You don’t have to think so much about the result; the game will tell,” he explained.
In this sense, he affirmed that they will have “respect” for Spain, although he stressed that this will not mean “servility” to his rival’s game. “There is no defense mechanism against pressure. How are we going to use a mechanism? Human law is not the law of robotics. This is human law, it has to do with human thought and reaction, these things are not they are controllable. We have to be concentrated”, he insisted.
“Reaching the ‘Final Four’ means motivation. Reaching a final phase is motivating. Pressure? Do you think we can have more pressure than we already have? These players always play to win, to be champions,” he said.
Finally, Santos assured that they attend the match without “any physical problem”. “The only doubt was Joao Félix, but he has been training well and has no limitations.” I have 25 players to use, many will be left out, but I can’t say anything. It is the law of football. The motto of the coach has to do with the call, not with whom he plays. I show confidence when I summon them. I only summon them from the certainty that they have the capacity to comply. What I can’t do is let everyone play, because that’s not possible,” he concluded.