A man that helped La Roja to World Cup and European Championship glory in his playing days is hoping to witness more success
Spain can dare to dream of European Championship glory, says Carlos Marchena, but a man that helped La Roja to glory at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup admits that a “pinch of luck” will be required in order to go all the way.
Luis Enrique’s side attracted criticism through their opening two games at this summer’s continental showpiece, with an attacking spark missing from a team that continues to dominate possession.
The shackles have been shaken, though, with five goals recorded in each of their last two outings, and a meeting with Switzerland in St Petersburg on Friday will offer up a shot at a semi-final berth.
What has been said?
Marchena believes Spain are capable of landing the ultimate prize, telling Goal of what they need to make that happen: “Talent, which this generation has to spare, humility to know that in good times you have to give 100 per cent, optimism, a lot of energy and a pinch of luck. Right now I think this generation has all of this.
“You have to do it step by step, without going crazy but I think we can dream and then we will see what happen.”
Is the right man at the helm?
Enrique faced some uncomfortable questions as Spain stumbled out of the blocks at Euro 2020, but the former Barcelona boss is a confident character and proven winner in playing and coaching capacities.
Marchena considers him to be the right man to deliver success in the present, saying of the demanding 51-year-old: “I think Luis Enrique is a person who does not hide anything, he was already that as a footballer and in his previous stages as a coach.
“He has a lot of personality, believes in his ideas and is very direct. He is a born leader and everyone knows him. He is very transparent in everything he does and thinks.”
Are Switzerland a threat?
Marchena knows how dangerous the Swiss can be when filling a role as underdogs, with Spain opening their triumphant World Cup campaign in 2010 with a shock defeat to their upcoming opponents.
Vladimir Petkovic’s side have already claimed the notable scalp of France in the last 16, following a thrilling 3-3 draw and penalty shootout success, but they will be without suspended captain Granit Xhaka on Russian soil.
On the challenges Switzerland pose, ex-Valencia defender Marchena added: “It is a team that has very clear ideas, but have a very important absence with Xhaka.
“Against France he gave a recital of suffering, overcoming and playing by taking the ball from France and knowing when he had to attack and when he had to keep possession.
“It is a very complete team and it is where it is on its own merits and we have to respect it. We have to face the game with great enthusiasm and great respect.”