Spain have started the Qatar World Cup with their win against Costa Rica by 7-0. Beyond the victory, the initial approach and the development during the game was outstanding, as they left some hints of what Spain can be in this tournament.
For some it might have not been the best game to test the level of Spain. It is true that Costa Rica did not compete at all, but taking advantage of Germany’s defeat to Japan are great news.
The starting line-up left several remarkable notes. Rodri played as a central defender, which is something that Luis Enrique had already talked about in the last few weeks. Furthermore, he has already tried him in that position in previous games.
The midfielder for Manchester City can help to play the ball from backwards and start more effective attacks from that position. He was not put in trouble defensively and so he could play that role without being pressed.
There is not too much discussion in the midfield. Busquets and Pedri set the foundations with Pedri going down to the start of the play in order to look for the best options. This support from Pedri also benefits Busquets, who gets to look for the easy pass to his teammate in case he was pressed by Costa Rica.
Gavi was the most offensive midfielder, as he always attacked the gap between the central defender and the full-back and was key in the pressure. He had his best game so far with the national team and topped it off with a goal that makes him the youngest player to score in a World Cup after Pelé.
The attack brought some doubts before the game. Luis Enrique decided to play with no pure striker and chose Ferran and Olmo in the wings plus Asensio as a fake striker. The doubts faded away instantly and they all stood out.
A non-optimal for skeptics:
The domain of the ball possession was guaranteed. The accuracy on shot surprised more. Dani Olmo took advantage from a pass by Gavi after a great connection to open up the scoreboard on the 11th minute.
The outstanding game from Spain kept going on and so they totally controlled the midfield. Jordi Alba sent an excellent cross in the 21st minute and Asensio scored the second one. In the 31st minute, Ferran scored a penalty and put the game away. 3-0 at halftime and great performance.
Pedri proved that he has nothing to envy to Bellingham, Musiala or any other young talent. His debut in the World Cup was clear on the potential he has.
In the second half, Spain did not slow down, as they put the rotation on and scored their chances. The substitutions from Luis Enrique resulted in an exhibition with Carlos Soler, Koke, Nico Williams, Morata and Balde.
We had never seen such a good start from Spain and with so many positive aspects to point out. That is what we need to focus on and hopefully this win will not become in arrogance, but instead in extra confidence for the next coming wins.
More hope that excitement, this is my diagnosis.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: @SEFutbol.