Spain ‘lack time’ before Euro 2024, De la Fuente says after Colombia friendly defeat

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Spain manager Luis de la Fuente says he was “very happy” with his players during their first friendly defeat since 2016 but knows La Roja “don’t have much time” before Uefa Euro 2024.

De la Fuente experimented with his team in the 1-0 loss to Colombia at London Stadium on Friday, when Spain had three attempts on target and were beaten by Daniel Munoz’s acrobatic second-half volley.

“The team is coming off a winning streak and the players are used to winning,” De la Fuente said, via L’Equipe, after Spain’s eight-match run of victories came to an end.

“The players have clear ideas, we are not afraid. We need time and we don’t have much of it.

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“This match allowed us to see the players evolve at the highest level, in exceptional situations for them, because some do not have these opportunities to play at this international level.

“We need to see them under this tension, under this stress, and we are very happy because we think that all the conclusions are positive.

“Not in terms of playing, but some players maybe still need a little more time, more opportunities, more international experience.”

Spain vs Colombia: La Roja ‘satisfied’

Real Sociedad goalkeeper Alex Remiro and Athletic Bilbao centre-back Daniel Vivian made their Spain debuts, while 17-year-old Barcelona defender Pau Cubarsi’s late introduction made him their second-youngest player ever after Barca’s Lamine Yamal in front of a crowd largely consisting of Colombia fans.

Spain host Brazil in a friendly at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday as their preparations continue for the start of their Euro 2024 campaign in Germany, which begins against Croatia on June 15.

“[Some players] have shown that they are at a very high level to be able to compete with the level of demands that we will have in June,” added De la Fuente.

“In this sense, we are satisfied. But there’s no doubt we wanted to find that balance and win.”

Spain drew their first two matches at Euro 2020 under Luis Enrique, winning in normal time in only one of the five games they played and exiting on penalties to Italy in the semi-finals.

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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