Giovanni Trapattoni paid tribute to Spain’s strength and commented on the value there is in his Republic of Ireland playing them.
Trapattoni’s side lost 2-0 on Tuesday evening thanks to second half goals from Roberto Soldado and Juan Mata, but it left the Italian encouraged.
“I saw Spain as strong as they were in the Euros and Ireland stronger than they were in the Euros,” reflected Trapattoni in reference to last summer’s 4-0 win for La Roja at Euro 2012.
“Although we lacked experienced players, those that came in occupied their roles. We are growing. It is a blast to play these games against Spain. It is an education to play against this team.
“Spain are fantastic and have punch. Del Bosque has the fortune and the merit to tweak the team with new players and to provide intelligent input, in the right amount so that the team retains their essence and the new players are still integrated.
“Del Bosque is able to add drops to the sponge and see that the sponge does not drop.”
The veteran was asked of the Yankee Stadium that the game was played in.
“For a Coach of my age, one of the places I was missing was having played at the Yankee Stadium. It seemed odd to me to see large stands at the front and on the sides and look back and not see anyone.
“That allows you to focus, without being distracted by anyone.”