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Sunday, December 04, 2022

Pedri and Gavi activate the Spanish Steamroller

DOHA ( Associated Press) – Spain presented its title credentials in Qatar on Wednesday. And with an exclamation mark.

In a World Cup full of surprises, the very young Spanish team did not want to take risks and gave Costa Rica no options. Their historic 7-0 victory confirms their intentions in the tournament. And in front of the team, two of its stars, teenagers Gavi and Pedri, who offered lessons in passing and control on the Al Thumama Stadium pitch in Doha.

It was a record night for the Spanish.

According to the Opta statistics platform, at the age of 18 years and 100 days, Gavi became the youngest player to score a World Cup goal since Pelé in the 1958 final, and the youngest to do so alongside La Rosa. Became a player. His fifth goal was a pass from Álvaro Morata from the edge of the area which he completed after a run towards the center of the Costa Rican area.

“We all played a great game today,” said Gavi, who received the Most Valuable Player award, a recognition he may have given to the other key piece of Spanish gear, his Barcelona teammate Pedri. “It’s a great sight to watch him play and play (…) It’s so easy to play with him.”

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Dani Olmo made history on his World Cup debut: he scored Spain’s 100th World Cup goal.

“It’s been a unique moment for me personally, because it was the first game and scoring,” said the 21-year-old midfielder for German Leipzig, who wanted to calm things down for what’s to come: “You have your To keep calm, it’s just started.

After that, two goals would fall for Ferran Torres – one of them from the penalty spot – one by Carlos Soler and the other by Morata, who came on as a substitute in the second half. A victory that destroyed Keylor Navas, an old acquaintance of the Spanish league thanks to his time with Real Madrid and his Costa Rica, and the greatest of Spaniards in the highest national team tournament.

The ubiquity of Luis Enrique’s men paid off: pressing, twisted play, pipes in both areas and a solidity in defense and attack that served to shape an absolute dominance that reminded prize-winners of the previous generation, who were rewarded with two euros and a Was crowned in the World Cup in just four years. It was also the first time that a team made 1,000 passes in 90 minutes of play in the tournament.

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This team has nothing to do with the team that failed in Brazil in 2014, where it came as defending champion, and in Russia four years ago, after a coach’s fracas just days after the start of his career. Was shaken by the change.

Luis Enrique has managed to strengthen the group he presented at last year’s European Championship, a team where everyone has options.

“We all know that we can start or we can have minutes, and it keeps you very focused. It’s one of the keys,” said Soler, the 25-year-old midfielder from Paris Saint-Germain, and the coach Believing in the idea is to always maintain the same style of play.”

The fans could not get much depth in the players’ call for prudence. Outside the stadium, fans in the colors of La Rosa were already singing “I am Spanish” of great occasions.

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