Euro 1984 is fondly remembered by many avid viewers of the game as one of the greatest international tournaments to date. This was in no small way attributed to Michel Platini’s heroics. The Frenchman went on to score in every single game his side took part in, leading host country France to the title and tallying an impressive nine goals in the process.
Before Xavi and co. had ushered international football into an era of Spanish dominance, you would have been forgiven for not recalling the last name to come close to landing some silverware for La Roja. The Euro 1964 hero, Luis Suarez, managed to bring the best out of his teammates on the way to lifting the only trophy Spain would claim for the next 44 years.
Italy U-21 finally broke a spell made of multiple setbacks against the same-aged Spaniards, defeating Luis de la Fuentes’ side 3-1 on Sunday in their opening match in Group A of the U-21 European Championship. The young Azzurri came from behind to level Dani Ceballos’ lead with a double by Federico Chiesa, before setting the score with Lorenzo Pellegrini.
The life of a goalkeeper is made of single events that can change a career, for the best or for the worse. 4 years ago in Brazil, Igor Akinfeev had condemned Fabio Capello’s Russia to a disappointing early exit with two colossal blunders. But yesterday, he redeemed himself by saving two penalties from Spain, pushing the host country into the World Cup Quarter Finals.
If your only strategy is defending to death, it is probable that sooner or later you will end up conceding at least one goal. Especially if your opponent is Spain, and their striker is Diego Costa. This is what happened to Iran tonight, whose coach Carlos Queiroz prepared the game with the one and only idea of keeping the Spanish away from the Asian goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Spain set the World Cup on fire last night as they staged a spectacular 3-3 tie in the opening match of Pool B. CR7 brought Portugal ahead twice, but in both cases Diego Costa made it even, before Nacho could give Spain the lead. It took a free kick by Real Madrid’s star to equalise again, and wrap up an unforgettable match in Sochi.
Today, the whole of Spain was left in shock at Football President Luis Rubiales’ decision to sack La Roja coach Julen Lopetegui, after the untimely announcement of him signing a deal with Real Madrid for the next season. Sporting director Fernando Hierro was hurriedly named interim manager to lead the team during the World Cup in Russia.