Lopetegui: Couldn’t have been better!

Julen Lopetegui believes the past year “couldn’t have been any better” for Spain, despite accepting Russia “made us suffer” in Tuesday’s 3-3 draw.

Spain ended 2017 still unbeaten under Lopetegui after 15 games and can now look forward to the World Cup next summer, although Russia came back from behind twice to deny La Roja a seventh straight win.

“Russia? They didn’t surprise me,” the Coach said after the game.

“They have some top players like Smolov, who I’ve known for a long time, and have the motivation of a team that will be [World Cup] hosts.

“Russia equalised twice because we lost control of the ball and they have the abiity to play with the ball.

“The game was complex because we went 2-0 up without playing like it and they didn’t give up. They linked up well and when we didn’t have the ball, they made us suffer.

“Krasnodar? Our base will be confirmed after the World Cup draw, but the distance aside, we’re considering other things and that’s why it’s an option for us.

“Friendly? We’ve competed well in these two friendlies and the team played with desire, a good attitude and at a good level.

“We’ve also seen all the players that were called up, which was another objective of ours.

“Still unbeaten? The balance sheet of the past year couldn’t have been any better. The team showed their faces and qualified, which is something that isn’t appreciated enough.

“If you don’t [qualify], look at what happened to Italy.”

Tags 2018 World Cup Julen Lopetegui Russia Spain
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