‘We have to win… yes, yes, yes!’: Spanish newspapers pile pressure on ahead of Croatia last-16 clash at Euro 2020 in match that ‘is like a final’… and Luis Enrique says game will be won or lost in ‘vital’ battle against Luka Modric
Spain may only be in the last-16 of Euro 2020 but the nation’s newspapers have described it as ‘like a final’ as they prepare to face Croatia in Copenhagen.
La Roja have not been beyond the last-16 since winning this tournament in 2012 and the pressure is on boss Luis Enrique and his players to navigate a way past the runners-up of the 2018 World Cup.
The front page of Monday’s SPORT called it as the side’s ‘first final’ while Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo described the Copenhagen contest as ‘like a final’.
Spain’s premier newspapers described Monday’s last-16 tie with Croatia as ‘like a final’
AS’s cover was more to the point with a quote which read: ‘We have to win… yes, yes, yes!’
Spain ended their enigmatic group stage with a 5-0 win over Slovakia but many supporters know facing a Luka Modric-led Croatia presents a far trickier task.
Enrique has described the battle in the midfield as ‘vital’ to who comes out on top in the battle at Parken on Monday.
Spain have had an overwhelming advantage in midfield in their three games but often found it tough to make their dominance count.
Diario AS ran a quote which said ‘we have to win’ while Estadio Deportivo posed ‘win or lose’
Against Sweden they boasted 86 per cent possession, only to go on and draw 0-0; a result which, in hindsight, cost them top spot of the group.
Barcelona’s 18-year-old rising star Pedri has been the bright light for Enrique when results haven’t followed and the boss was full of praise for his ‘unique’ star at his pre-match press conference.
‘Pedri is a unique player, totally different to what else we have,’ Enrique said.
‘He can seem a shy player, but he has humour.
‘He’s even a breath of fresh air when he plays table tennis and from what I’ve seen he’s very good at that too.’
Pedri, who made 52 appearances in all competitions in his debut season at Barcelona, has started all three group games on the left side of a midfield three and there will be great expectation that he can provide the magic required to send Spain into the quarter-finals, where the winner of France and Switzerland would await.
Pedri, 18, has been the shining light for Spain but he faces a tricky midfield battle on Monday
Croatia are led by experienced Real Madrid anchor Luka Modric (right) and that could be key