• 0-1 in Braga Narration and statistics

  • Group 2 Final Classification

Spain had a plan.

Hypnotize Portugal for an hour and, already asleep, steal qualification for the Final Four of the League of Nations.

She got it.

The plan went well in its first part, because Spain managed to put Portugal, the Portuguese, the Spanish and even the referees to sleep, Orsato was imprisoned on a couple of occasions of what usually happens when you think about what you are going to do to put tomorrow.

Total, that part did go well.

The second, the most difficult, was missing, of course, that of resolving in the rival area and transcending mere possession.

Against a team with firepower like few others, the national team again showed that yes, they are a good team, yes, they have a good coach, and yes, they always have a plan, and, okay, sometimes it comes out and sometimes it doesn't, that sometimes it loses to Switzerland and sometimes it beats Portugal,

and that the World Cup will be a Russian roulette, either in the first phase or champion.

Or not, namely, this team is indecipherable.

For the bad, for the good and for the very good.

Spain always has a plan.

Luis Enrique

's line-up

was unlikely for everyone except him, of course, who puts those he thinks are best for each game.

And, for some reason that escapes mortals,

Hugo Guillamón

was the ideal last night as a central defender, along with two new full-backs, a reformed midfield and a forward where two (

Pablo Sarabia


Ferran Torres

) repeated three (

Álvaro Morata


Borja Iglesias


Without questioning that for him, for Luis Enrique, they were the best, the truth is that these permanent fusses in the eleven are surprising, subject, as he says, to a fixed idea.

Opposite was a team full of stars of the highest level.

Three from City, two from United, two from PSG, one from Liverpool... All starters.

Players who do not need almost 70% of possession, which was what Spain accumulated in the first half, to generate football, vertical football and football that shoots on goal.

A good summary of that first quarter would be: Spain, 300 passes in each play, barely stepped on

Diogo Costa

's area .

Portugal, 3 passes in each move, was about to score several times.

But it is that Spain had a plan, because Spain always has a plan.

Luis Enrique, aware of his team's technical inferiority, opted to knead the ball more than ever, to protect himself with exasperating possession at times, even at the risk of not peeking through the rival goalkeeper's domain, as happened.

In that first hour, Spain only managed to finish one of its endless plays, and it did so with a parabolic and innocent shot by Ferran.

Fernando Santos


man, aware of his quality, and also aware that the draw was worth it to them, did not go for Spain.

He put his team in midfield, with

Cristiano Ronaldo

as a reference, and waited for an error.

The few times that he managed to steal he agitated Spain, but Spain had a plan, because Spain always has a plan.

The minutes passed between the yawns of the staff, incredulous at the tenacity of Spain to prioritize the absence of failures before the risk. At halftime, the feeling was that the team could be playing a week in a row that they would not be able to no longer to score a goal, but not even to shoot on goal.

But Spain had a plan, because Spain always has a plan.

On the way back Sergio Busquets


, but not for


, but for Guillamón, Rodri going on to play central, but Luis Enrique's fireworks appeared with half an hour to go, when

Yeremi Pino





showed up with a push .

The plan was clear there.

Spain had put Portugal to sleep for an hour, making him run after the ball to, in those last 30 minutes, definitely go for the classification.

Spain had a plan, because Spain always has a plan.

And it was in 1968, when

Álvaro Carvajal

took Portugal's last option under the sticks (which had several that would have ruined the plan), the moment in which Spain pounced in a bad way on its opponent, delivered to a crepuscular Cristiano .

He was having options until Morata closed the night after a crossed ball from Gavi and a drop shot from

Nico Williams


Spain had a plan, because Spain always has a plan.

Go well or not.

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  • football

  • Spain National Soccer Team

  • Portugal National Soccer Team

  • Luis Enrique

  • Daniel Carvajal

  • Jordi Alba

  • pedri

  • Sergio Busquets

  • Alvaro Morata