PIQUE ADMITS SPAIN’S ERA HAS PASSED
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique admits that his country’s era might have passed after the team’s poor performance at the Euro 2016 where they were knocked out by Italy in the Round of 16. The player admitted that the team no longer had that certain edge that helped the country with its back to back successes.
He called for a big reflection after the tournament so they could collectively fix the problem. Pique was quoted saying: “We have to be realistic; we don’t have the level that we had a couple of years ago when we were the champions of Europe and champions of the world.
“We have young players coming through who are very promising, veterans who have to keep on bringing experience and talent to the team.”
He asked that the player be self critical, accept the changes and work so they could prepare better for Russia and playing better as well. When asked the reason why the team is no longer the top performing team, he said it isn’t just the players but that the style of football wasn’t as effective.
On getting knocked out, he said there weren’t many positives from it but at least the young players now had international experiences which he urged them to exploit in the next major tournament in Russia. He added that after the defeat against Georgia, he said they were one of the favourites to lift the trophy because of their name not because they were the best national team. He admitted that the players’ quality was decent but that they were not good enough to win a big competition such as the Euros.
The Spanish players got behind the coach hoping he would continue, at least to the upcoming World Cup in Russia in 2018 but they coach decided to resign.