Luis Enrique revealed Spain took 1,000 penalties in training but they still could not score a single spot kick in World Cup shootout defeat to Morocco
The Spain boss gave his team plenty of penalty practice ahead of the World Cup but it didn’t pay off as they were dumped out in a shootout.
WHAT HAPPENED? Spain have been knocked out of the World Cup by Morocco on penalties. The two teams played out a goalless draw which meant spot-kicks were needed to determine the winner. Luis Enrique admitted before the game his side had done plenty of practice, but he could only sit and watch as Carlos Soler, Pablo Sarabia and Sergio Busquets missed all three Spain penalties.
WHAT THEY SAID: “I imagine that they have done their homework. Over a year ago, in one of the Spain camps, I told them they had to get here with at least 1,000 penalties taken. If you wait until getting here to practise penalties… [it won’t be enough],” he told reporters.
“It’s a moment of maximum tension, a time to show your nerve and that you can shoot the penalty in the way you have decided, if you have trained it a thousand times. It says a lot about each player. It’s trainable, manageable, how you manage the tension. It’s increasingly less luck – the goalkeepers have more influence. We have a very good goalkeeper, any of the three can do very well in this situation. Every time we finish training, I see a lot of players taking penalties.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Spain may have done their homework regarding penalties but it certainly didn’t pay off in Qatar. Sarabia hit the post with Spain’s first spot-kick, while Soler and Busquets were both denied by goalkeeper Yassine Bounou who was the hero for Morocco. Achraf Hakimi then showed Spain exactly how it’s done by sealing the win with a cheeky panenka.