Former Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte has given his verdict on Spain’s defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 semi-finals.
Spain were eliminated at the penultimate stage following a penalty shootout defeat at Wembley Stadium.
It was a heartbreaking way for Spain to not only leave the competition but to lose the game having dominated so much of the tie.
But according to Conte, who left Inter Milan after winning the Serie A title this summer, the domination was not so evident, not because Spain didn’t have plenty of the ball, but because they did not do enough with it.
He said, as cited by Diario AS: “I’ve always had a great respect for Luis Enrique, as a coach and a man, for his values and his stubbornness. He started a new cycle in Spanish football, with many great young talents.
“They certainly had an excellent tournament.
“But my opinion of the Spain against Italy game is less enthusiastic than many others who have read and listened.
“Possession and domination of play have been spoken about a lot. But what significance does dominating the play have?
“It should lead to dangerous actions and situations.
“And from this point of view, the Spanish domination against Italy wasn’t so evident.
“If possession of the ball does not create vertical exits toward the opponent’s goal or create a one on one, if it does not generate danger then it is sterile.
“You can stay with the ball all the time you want, if you don’t create, don’t shoot or score, you don’t win.”
Italy will now take on England in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.
England advanced controversially after a soft penalty was awarded in their favour during extra-time against Denmark.
Being the home team, the Three Lions are favourites to win the game, but Italy have been one of the more attractive and impressive teams across this tournament so far, even if they didn’t show too much of that against Spain.
The Spain win was arguably Italy’s worst performance of the competition, but it does say a lot about their quality and fortitude that they held on and still progressed.