Compared to German, Spanish can be a very flowery language, expressive and playful like a cat flattering its owner. She does not stop at the terminology of football. “Cantera” are the names of the sports academy factories from Bilbao to Seville, from Madrid to Barcelona, ​​which in this country were christened youth performance centers, or NLZ for short. “Cantera” can be translated as quarry, the view of the work with young footballers there is described very precisely. It is important to work off the talents of the country, to find them and to separate them from the bulk. They need to be honed and their subtleties brought to the fore.

Measured against this, Spain's national coach Luis Enrique has sweaty days ahead of them, which is less due to the scorching heat in Seville than to the performance of his team in the 0-0 draw against Sweden. The Selección is Spain's most prominent quarry. With an average age of 25 years, Enrique sent the youngest starting eleven of all participants in the European Championship to the field. Eight of the eleven regulars made their debut at a finals. The Swedes were on average five years older, and if you want to see the 90 minutes broken down to the core, you can't avoid the story of “Hare und Hedgehog”.

Whatever the naively running Spaniards tried, the clever Swedes had long since been there. Spain shot 17 times in the direction of the Swedish goal, played a crazy 917 passes and at times had possession of 85 percent of the ball - a team has never had a higher value at a European Championship. But despite great opportunities, they didn't want to score a goal. In the end, Spain even had to be happy about the point because Sweden missed the best chances in the few counterattacks. Once, after an attempt by Alexander Isak, the post saved the home team.

“Spain stays dry”, headlined Marca, the country's largest sports newspaper, on the cover of its online edition right after the end, and that was also not based on the condition of the field in Seville, which Enrique later criticized. "The place hurt us," said the coach. The players hurt each other mainly because they did not take the lead during the energetic opening phase.

This resulted in a game that seemed like a journey through the history of Spanish football over the past few decades.

Passport followed passport, sometimes there were also passports, the sender and recipient were so close to one another.

The Spaniards have a word for that with an extraordinary sound.


If you mean it badly with the football players, you can say “golpecito”, that is, kicks, like the Catalan politician Aina Vidal.

Luis Enrique's search for the staff

She had chosen this word to emphasize the serious insignificance of the players in her opinion when it came to whether the national team should be vaccinated before the tournament. The criticism that Enrique's selection now has to deal with is of a sporting nature. In the second half in particular, much of what happened in the largest city in Andalusia was reminiscent of a game that marked a turning point in recent history.