After a difficult start to UEFA Euro 2020, Spain finally found their groove on Wednesday when they defeated Slovakia 5-0 in their last Group E meeting to seal passage to the knockout stages.
After a back-to-back draw against Sweden and Poland, the last clash against Slovakia was a do-or-die one for They thought. And they looked in fine rhythm from the start when a Martin Dubravka own goal put them ahead in the first half before Aymeric Laporte equalized on the break of the break.
Pablo Sarabia and Ferran Torres added Spain’s count in the second period before another own goal, this time from Juraj Kucka, added more brilliance to the result line.
It was a commanding display from the FIFA World Cup in 2010, where the entire team, exclusively Alvaro Morata, stepped up to the apartment. One man who played a crucial role in Spain’s victory, however, was Captain Sergio Busquets.
The 32-year-old Barcelona midfielder made his UEFA Euro 2020 first appearance after missing the first two matches due to coronavirus. After being in isolation for over ten days, the veteran star returned to training last week and in his first appearance helped Spain control the game with an authoritative screen in the middle.
Busquets was named the star of the match for his performance and was emotional when he spoke to the media after the competition (h / t Football International) as he reflected on his time in isolation.
“I feel pretty bad. I was home for ten days and did not know if I could return or not. There was nothing I could do, ” said the Spanish captain.
Prior to this game, there were many question marks over Spain and their performance. Busquets, however, rejected the no owners and said:
“This team is mentally very strong. We have grown together. This victory has significantly increased our confidence. This is an incentive for everyone. We must continue in this way. ”
The victory means that Spain finished second in Group E and now face Croatia in their 16-part competition on Monday in Copenhagen, where Busquets will once again have a critical role to play.