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Spain – Brazil, a friendly final

Spain – Brazil, a friendly final

On March 25, 2023, Luis de la Fuente made his debut as senior coach with a victory in Malaga against Norway. A year has passed and the coach has fulfilled all his goals: won the Nations League and qualified Spain for the Euro Cup in a solvent manner despite initial doubts.

The doubts returned last Friday with the defeat against Colombia in London. But it was just a friendly, a preparation match, the last one before giving the final list for the Euro Cup, and we should not draw too many conclusions. Although those extracted by the coach are positive. «When you analyze the matches in the heat it usually does not adjust to reality. When we watched the game afterwards I had the feeling that it was much better than I thought.. We played 45 good minutes, we had a feeling of dominance and in the second half we continued to dominate, but there were options for them to develop their potential. It is not a team from the neighborhood community, it is Colombia, a great piece of equipment that we knew was going to put us in serious difficulties. We have learned because we will try to ensure that there are situations that do not repeat themselves,” analyzes the coach.

Against Colombia he did a lot of testing in the lineup and in the system. He returned to the 4-2-3-1 that he used to use in the U21s. But Brazil is something very different. «It could be a semi-final or a final of a world championship. We are going to face it being aware of the importance of a match against Brazil. There is much more focus, much more feeling », he assumes.

The coach’s memories against Brazil are not good. De la Fuente was the coach at the Tokyo 2020 Games and Spain lost the final against the Brazilians. A custom started in 1985 U20 World Cup in the USSR, in which Unzu’s Spainis – and Lopetegui as substitute –, Nayim, Marcelino, Patxi Ferreira, Losada and Valencian Fernando among others, fell against the Brazil of Müller and Silas. And that he had continuity in the World Cup final of the same category in 2003. Iniesta’s Spain lost with a goal from Fernandinho, who would later be a Manchester City player for many years. In that Brazil the right back was a certain Dani Alves.

Every 18 years since 1985 Spain loses a final against Brazil and De la Fuente’s team in 2021 was defeated by a goal from former Barcelona player Malcolm. «In the 87th minute Bryan Gil shot the post. And in a mismatch, a mistake in a corner that we took, in a counterattack they score us a goal. Against rivals of maximum equality, whoever makes a mistake loses the game,” recalls the coach. And the maxim works the same for this match between the senior teams. It is more than a friendly match, even if a title is not being played. The final that the countries with an absolute title at stake need to play.