Spain paid for over-confidence, says Juanfran
Saint-Martin-de-Ré: Right-back Juanfran admitted European champions Spain were punished for their over-confidence as they were struck by a Croatia sucker punch to miss out on top spot in Euro 2016 Group D.
Ivan Perisic’s winner three minutes from time means Spain were pushed into the much tougher half of the draw and face old foes Italy in a repeat of the Euro 2012 final in the last 16 on Monday.
“The excess of confidence we had in the game against Croatia we have to correct against Italy,” said the Atletico Madrid defender.
“I would be lying if I said we hadn’t thought a lot about what happened to us against Croatia. That little excess of confidence that things were going so well is what we have to correct.”
Even if they get past Antonio Conte’s solid Italian outfit, Spain now face having to beat world champions Germany and hosts France just for the chance to defend their title in the final in Paris on July 10.
Spain were made to pay for captain Sergio Ramos’s missed penalty 18 minutes from time as the rapid Perisic broke away to fire in at David de Gea’s near post.
“We had the game under control. We had chances and we nearly went 2-1 up which would have killed the game off,” added Juanfran.
“In a game with more in play, when one detail can put you out, we wouldn’t have been so open. It was an error from the whole group that we won’t have against Italy.”
Celta Vigo’s Nolito also insisted Spain had no one to fear as two-time defending champions despite their difficult draw.
“We are calm, we still depend on ourselves. We have to respect all our opponents, but we don’t fear anyone,” said the forward, who looks set to seal a big-money move to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
“De Gea was annoyed, Sergio Ramos too, but we all support each other.
“When we win, we win together, when we lose, we lose together.”